What is our recourse if the seller not honest in the disclosure statement?

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What is our recourse if the seller not honest in the disclosure statement?

We puchased a home 9 months ago. Since moving we have had on going problems with the house. From ongoing flooding in the basement, mold and mildew issues that have deteriorated our health along with our 3 little ones. It turns out, after speaking with several neighbors, that the house had been unoccupied for almost 10 years since the original owner had passed away and he inherited the house. In the disclosure, the owner stated he had been living in the house for the last 8 years. Had we known that the house was unoccupied for that long, we more than likely would not have purchased. this home. Do we have a case against the seller?

Asked on June 2, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

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 bought the house had you known the true facts.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means 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 determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between price paid and actual value of the property acquired.


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