Can I sue the seller I purchased my house from if they cosmeticly covered up water damage caused by a leaking roof?

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Can I sue the seller I purchased my house from if they cosmeticly covered up water damage caused by a leaking roof?

We had an inspection performed but it had not rained for some time before the inspection so he did not catch the leak. We closed on the house and 10 days after we moved in it rained for approximately 1 1/2 hours. When I walked into my kitchen there was a big puddle and a 5-6′ long 4-5″ wide spot leaking from the ceiling. Upon further inspection we could clearly see every place the water was dripping had a small square of sheetrock mud covering it and it had been painted because it flashes from not being primered. Now we have mold in our attic and I believe the spores are getting in the rest of the house trough the AC ducts.

Asked on October 18, 2015 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The law requires that before finalizing the sale, the seller disclose any known problems with their home before finalizing the sale which are not obvious to the average buyer walking through the home. However, the existence of a leaky roof must be disclosed if the leak is only noticeable in a heavy rain. Further, a seller must disclose any health and safety issues to the buyer before the sale is concluded. This means that the presence of toxic mold, which can cause serious respiratory problems, must be disclosed.
At this point, it's time to consult directly with an attorney who specializes in real estate  matters. They can best advise you as to your rights under specific state law.


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