What rights do we have if our condo seller failed to disclose the broken air conditioning unit?

UPDATED: Aug 10, 2011

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What rights do we have if our condo seller failed to disclose the broken air conditioning unit?

My husband and I bought a condo almost 3 years ago (34 months). During our first summer 9& months after purchase), we noticed the A/C unit was broken and the repairman noted that there was a previous issue with the air unit and that it would cost thousands to fix. We immediately contacted our real estate agent, who contacted the seller’s real estate agent (who also happens to be our agent’s boss – is this a conflict of interest?). The seller stated the unit worked fine when he was there. However, we want to pursue it further. Is there a time limit to confront him?  

Asked on August 10, 2011 Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In all sales of real property in this country, the seller of real property are required to disclose all facts known to him that would materially affect a buyer's desire to purchase that property or influence its purchase price.

If the sellers of the condominium knew that the air confirioning unit was not working before close of escrow, they had a legal obligation to disclose this fact to you.

The problem is that you are now bringing up this claim of a malfunctioning air conditioning unit almost three full years after close. If the air conditioning unit was not working before you closed escrow, one would expect that you would have found this problem soon after close of escrow and brought up this problem to your real estate agent.

If you did not know that there was a dual agency where the same real estate brokerage represented you and the seller in the sale, that should have been disclosed to you in writing before the close.

You need to find out what the costs to fix the air condtitioning unit which would most likely be your damages in this possible dispute assuming you can prove liability. Note, since the escrow closed almost three years ago, if you are going to file a lawsuit, you better do so soon in that there are statute of limitations that could bar your claim if a lawsuit is not filed soon.

You should consult a real estate attorney about your problem immediately.

Good luck.

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