Can you sue the seller for unforeseen property damagesregarding thepurchase of a home?

UPDATED: Feb 25, 2012

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Can you sue the seller for unforeseen property damagesregarding thepurchase of a home?

One unforeseen damage was that when we had a rainstorm my house had about 6 leaks in the home and the home was freshly painted and inspected. Now I have a roof to replace and wood damages inside my new purchase home. Can I sue the seller for selling me a home that that needed much more repairs then a paint job?

Asked on February 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of it falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  Seller induced your reliance by not disclosing the leaky roof and had you known of it, you would not have justifiably relied to your detriment by purchasing the house.  Fraud also applies in cases of nondisclosure where the seller did not disclose a material fact which the buyer could not have reasonably discovered. 

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for fraud) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.

Benefit of the bargain means that a defrauded purchaser can recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered may have been less.

Out of pocket loss for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.

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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