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I bought now, my first home just over a year ago and it’s been a nightmare. About 2 months after closing, the furnace started giving us problems. The pilot light won’t stay lite, there was a gas leak due to incorrect installation and costs us about $350 in the winter vs $135 in the summer and that’s with the A/C set at 72. The furnace is 23 years old. Now we just had someone come in and give us an estimate for a new furnace and while he was here he informed us, or rather confirmed we already knew, that the furnace we have is meant for a manufactured home. He also said that it was illegal for the sellers to sell us this home with this type of furnace. Is there any truth in this? We also fought my realtor versus their realtor over the fact that the house also lacks a return for the furnace.
Asked on September 30, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan
S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
It would be advisable to speak with a construction defect attorney in your state regarding whether the furnace for a manufactured home cannot be installed in your home. You can contact your County Bar Association and ask for a referral to a construction defect attorney.
With regard to the other issues pertaining to the faulty furnace, you can sue the seller for fraud.
Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, you would not have purchased the house had you known of the condition of the furnace.
Fraud is also applicable in cases of nondisclosure of a material fact by the seller which the buyer could not have reasonably discovered prior to purchase.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in a lawsuit) for fraud against the seller would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means that a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.