Do we have any leverage

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Do we have any leverage

My husband and I went under contract on a house last month and went through the usual inspections, repair requests, etc. we got to the appraisal for our VA loan and the appraiser discovered the air conditioning was out. The seller’s agent said he discovered it the day before and was working on it. They replaced the unit with a 5 year older, different brand than the inside furnace unit said we were good to go. We had an HVAC inspection for piece of mind and was found that the new unit was not a match, not functioning at its potential capacity, rusting and had paint chips and the inside unit had fungus, leaks, and rust as well. We are 16 days from closing and when we presented the report to the sellers agent and asked for a replacement of the system they shot back that they were within contract by having a functioning unit and weren’t going to replace the unit and if that’s what we wanted then cancel the sale and they would sue us for breach of contract. I don’t know if we have any leverage. Our agent says its a lot of gray areas but I feel like it would be more against them than us.

Asked on October 19, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

While the situation is not as clear as if they failed entirely to replace it, the facts do favor you. The seller is required to sell the home in the same condition as it was in when you contracted to buy it. While it apparently does have a "working" HVAC, based on what you right, the system is not functioning as well as it should be, has potential health hazards (e.g. the fungus), has already known problems that may impair its functioning (leaks), and presumably has a shorter life expectancy (being older). Therefore, a strong argument can be made that they have not complied with their obligation to keep the home and sell it to you i the same condition it was when you contracted, and so they, no you, are in breach of the contract.


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