Who is responsible for repair or replacement in a house that has just been sold but the owner still hasn’t moved out?

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who is responsible for repair or replacement in a house that has just been sold but the owner still hasn’t moved out?

I sold our home and have had the closing. I have 7 days to be out of the house. I noticed 3 days after the closing that roof had a leak.

Asked on April 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no single answer to this question, since it depends on the circumstances. Here are factors to consider:

1) Generally speaking, the risk of loss--including having to repair damage--rests with the houses owner. If the closing has occured, that would be the buyer.

2) If someone residing in the house caused or contributed to the leak, he or she would be liable.

3) If the seller knew of the leak or of a condition which would cause the leak and did not disclose it, he or she might be liable under a "fraud" theory.

4) Finally, risk can be apportioned by contract, so the parties could have agree to put the risk on one or the other or share costs--if they did contract about risk and repair, the contractual terms will govern.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption