Statute of limitation on violation on sold houses.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Statute of limitation on violation on sold houses.

I sold a house almost twenty years ago, now a layer is writing me to call his
office. They probably have a violation on the house can I be held liable for code
violation after selling the house for so long ago ? Thanks.
House seller.

Asked on July 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you should not be liable after all this time. There is a thing called a statute of limitations, or time within which any lawsuit or legal action must be brought; once the statutory period has expired, no legal action may be taken. The main possible statutes of limiations against a home seller for violations (e.g. code violations) are typically breach of contract (violating an agreement in regards to what you were selling--e.g. a house without code infringement) or fraud (lying about the condition of the home). The statutes of limitation for those acts are 6 years only, which far less than 29 years; it would be too late to take legal action. In fact, there do not appear to be any possibly applicable statutes of limitations in your state which are at least 29 years long, so it is difficult to see how there could be any possible grounds to hold you liable, even if--for the sake of argument--you did in fact do something wrong 29 years ago.

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 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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