Disclosure form

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Disclosure form

I live in Charleston, SC were it is required to fill out a disclosure form on any known issues that are known when selling your home. We bought our house a

year and a half ago and have discovered major problems a lot involving leaking is that is requiring us to tear apart our kitchen, 2 bathrooms and replace flooring from under the house. These issues were covered with paint, plywood, and insulation to hide the issue instead of fixing it. The law says that we can sue because of the disclosure act. Do you think its worth it?

Asked on June 21, 2018 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the seller knew or under the facts *must* have known then you would have a viable case and could sue with  reasonable chance of winning (no lawsuit is ever certain, so you should never 100% count on winning). The issue is, can you show that they knew or must have known? If they put down the paint, plywood, etc. to cover the problems, you can show they knew; on the other hand, say that they only owned the home briefly before selling it to you and the prior owner had covered up the damage--in that case, you likely could not show that they knew of the problem. Their knowledge is key to their liability.
As to whether it's worth it to sue: that's a cost-benefit decision. How much money are you talking about? Is it worth it to you to go through the time, effort, and cost of suing and, most likely, hire a lawyer (since if you don't have an attorney, your chance of winning will be sharply lower) for that amount? And, do you think the seller has money to pay if you sue and win--if the seller is insovent, even if you win, you won't get anything: a succesful lawsuit does not money appear where there is none.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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