issues with home purchased 6 months ago

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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issues with home purchased 6 months ago

I purchased a supposed to been rehab property that I been having some issues with since I purchased. Come to find out the seller didnt have any permits pulled for any work done on the property. Can I take legal action against the seller and the contractor. One of the problems that I’m having the contractor signed off saying it was fixed and apparently it wasn’t.

Asked on September 26, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if the seller did not disclose that the work was unpermitted, you can sue the seller for fraud: the seller is obligated to tell you of important, but not obvious on inspection (such as permitting; you can't tell that by looking at the home) issues, and a failure to do so is fraud. Fraud can let you recover the cost to correct the problem (e.g. repair or redo the work and get the permits). 
You don't have a direct connection to the contrator (you did not hire or contract with him) and he had no duty directly to you: it would be difficult for  you to directly hold him responsible, given that lack of connection. (The seller can sue him and/or cross claim against him and bring him into the suit, if he mislead the seller.) Your best option is to sue the seller for unpermitted work, then let the seller bring the contractor into the matter.

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