Just bought a house and the seller failed to disclose a foundation leak?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Just bought a house and the seller failed to disclose a foundation leak?

We bought a houseon a slab. The day we get the
keys and walk through the house which is now
empty, we notice that in the back bedroomcorner of
the home there is a Huge piece of loose extra
carpet. I lift it up and expose a huge damp stain in
the corner of the room. It extended almost half way
down one side and a few feet down the adjacent
side. When we went back thru thru the pics of the
home to try and figure out how we missed it, they
had a bed covering the whole thing. When we tore
the carpet up it appears to extend all the way thru to
the slab. Do we have grounds for legal recourse.
They obviously knew or they would have disclosed it
and they thru a piece of carpet over to hide it even
more. This is Southern California.

Asked on April 16, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure 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 bought the house had you known of the foundation leak.
Your damages (monetary 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 may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket damages 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 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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