Can we hold previous home owner home inspection company liable for repairs?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can we hold previous home owner home inspection company liable for repairs?

After closing we have found multiple issues that so far have cost us over 15K to repair. Previous homeowner fancied himself a handy man and did electrical/plumbing repairs himself. On day we were to move in we smelled gas. I called in plumbers who found 4 different gas leaks and is willing to put in writing that these were obvious defects that any reasonable home inspector should have recognized and called out. Numerous other issues have been discovered and we have spent 15K to repair to date. What legal recourse do we have?

Asked on August 24, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the home inspection company for negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspection company would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm). The company is liable for the negligence of its employee which occurred during the course and scope of employment. 
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) are what was foreseeably caused by the inspector's negligence such as the cost of repairs.
Depending on the other issues you did not specify, if there was misrepresentation or nondisclosure by the seller , you may be able to sue the seller for fraud.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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