Montgomery, AL asked in Real Estate Law for Alabama

Q: I purchased a home "as is" and signed the paperwork after having the home inspected. Do I have any recourse?

I have already paid to have the foundation repaired; some of the joists weren't even supporting the house. I paid to have the roof repaired because the shingles on the back room were put on backwards. There are holes in the wall that were covered by tape which were painted over (latex over oil, by the way; so all of the paint is now peeling off the walls and ceilings), and the bathroom is falling through the floor.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nelson Craig Johnson
Nelson Craig Johnson
  • Cullman, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: As you stated you purchased the home in "as is" condition, so it is doubtful you would have recourse against the seller. Without having everything in front of me, the only option I could imagine against the seller would be if the seller mislead you as to the condition of the home. Alabama is what we call a buyer beware state, caveat emptor. There are a few exceptions to this rule though. If there is a material defect that poses a health/safety risk to the buyer and the buyer is not able to detect the defect the seller must inform the buyer, or if the buyer asks a specific question as to the condition of parts of the home or if specific defects exist the seller must inform the buyer.

Now if you have a claim against the inspector for not locating the defects prior to your purchase is another story. To determine that an attorney would need to review your contract with that inspector. My assumption would be that he disclaims liability for things not discovered even due to negligent inspection. Instead you would likely have to show that he acted with gross negligence, recklessness, or wantonness in his inspection. That is going to be fact specific and come down to if another inspector would be willing to testify to that effect as an expert witness.

For a more tailored response to your situation you should consult with an attorney and provide them will all contracts, communications, and other relevant materials to the sale and inspection of the home you purchased.

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