Powers Lake, ND asked in Real Estate Law for North Dakota

Q: Can I get out of contract for deed if seller failed to diclise lead paint in house

Health department and federal epa already involved my kids are sick and federal law says she had to disclose lead or posibility of lead in houses older than 1978

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Although a real estate attorney is the legal professional who can provide you with a specific, informative answer, I think you cannot successfully file a lawsuit against the former homeowner for failing to disclose the presence of lead paint on the property. According to the law, the seller is required to inform potential buyers with regard to the existence of lead paint and other hazardous materials in the building only if they are aware of it. Otherwise, they cannot be held responsible for any subsequent damage or injury.

You can, however, file a personal injury lawsuit against the lead paint manufacturer, considering that exposure has resulted in your children becoming sick. Depending on the severity of the injuries, you can recover financial compensation. As for canceling the home purchase contract, I am afraid you cannot do so. Were you to sue the former homeowner, it will be nearly impossible to prove whether they had prior knowledge of the lead paint in the house, even with the assistance of a skilled lawyer. Thus, I advise you to contact a personal injury attorney specialized in environmental law, as they can help you recover compensation for your children’s injuries.

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