Sacramento, CA asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law for California

Q: Can I get the seller of the house to pay for my mediation fees for non-disclosure, fraud?

I bought the house seven months ago and now my family and I are staying at the hoted due to a slab leak and roof leak. The pipe that is leaking is galvanized ang connected to a copper that is feeding the cold water in my bathroom. I called the seller to ask if he knew where the pipe starts. He tried to lie and say that he was not the seller and that he just worked at house. I reminded him that he signed it as a seller. He remembered that he did sell the house. He said that the only thing he did to the house was put a sheetrock in the garage and painted it.

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1 Lawyer Answer
N. Munro Merrick
N. Munro Merrick
  • Arbitration & Mediation Lawyer
  • Del Mar, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you and the seller signed a purchase contract such as the one provided by the California real estate department, there are specific provisions relating to representations by the Seller, who pays for damages to the property, etc. If the Seller knew of the leaks and did not disclose them, and especially if he warranted that there were no leaks, he is liable to you for the damage he caused you. If you had no written contract, you can sue and rely on the judge believing you and not the Seller. Recovering your mediation fees would be the least of the Seller's problems. However, you cannot base your claim on anything said or any document submitted in the mediation. All that is confidential and cannot be revealed.

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