What can I do after we signed closing papers but owner didn’t give us the keys and then we found a soaked basement upon our entry ?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do after we signed closing papers but owner didn’t give us the keys and then we found a soaked basement upon our entry ?

The owners didn’t give us keys day of closing and then the following afternoon turned over the code for a lock box. Upon arrival to our new home we discovered bathroom fixtures were removed, back screen door gone and the carpet throughout the basement was saturated throughout including the padding. No disclosure on problems with water in the basement in fact specially asked about and stated none.

Asked on June 15, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the owner on one or both of the following basis:
1) If they failed to disclose water problems of which they were aware (or logically, given the facts, must have been aware), they committed fraud. Fraud provides a legal basis to seek compensation, such as the cost to remediate or repair.
2) When you sign the contract of sale, it is to buy the home as it existed (e.g. in that physical condition, with all doors and fixtures) at the moment you signed. If the owner took things out, he breached the contract, and breach of contract would allow you to sue for the cost to repair or replace what he took. He also had to repair any damage occuring post-signing the contract but pre-closing, to keep the home in the same condition, so it would also be a breach to not repair basement flooding.

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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