Minneapolis, MN asked in Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Minnesota

Q: We bought a house with water damage, had an inspection but it either missed it or it wasn’t present. What can we do?

The ceiling in the downstairs bathroom had a leak. Neither is, our realtor and our inspector saw this leak. We had the inspection in May and in July we moved in due to the current owners preference. They are refusing any compensation and I cannot prove they knew about the leak. We noticed the leak right after we signed the papers on closing day. I feel we did everything we were suppose to do, are they financially responsible for any portion? They also took all the light fixtures and ceiling fans when they moved out, does any of this warrant a case? We don’t have a lot of money to take them to court but feel they are responsible for some portion of the damage.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark William Perron
Mark William Perron
  • Hugo, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: First, with regard to the inspector, you would need to look at the agreement and see if there is any language that limits the company's exposure. If there is nothing in there and the leak was obvious as to where the inspector should have known about it, you could bring a civil claim against them for damages.

With regard to the owners taking the fixtures and fans. The general rule of thumb is that if it is attached to the house, it stays. This again all depends on the what was agreed upon regarding the sale of the house and what was signed off on.

I would certainly contact a civil attorney to discuss your options.

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