Columbus, OH asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio

Q: In Oct. 2019 we purchased an older home that was completely updated & have issues…

We’ve recently found out the final building inspection wasn’t done or approved by the City, have found flooding issues in the garage and discovered the plumbing vent for our master bathroom was never connected at all. None of this was disclosed to us and is not on any paperwork we signed. Not to mention the shoddy work done throughout the home like cutting drawers in vanities and crooked everything.

Do we have any recourse with the sellers/“flippers”, or our house inspector?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles
  • Lancaster, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Your recourse against the sellers/flippers most likely will not exist. They did not reside in the house and therefore would not be required to complete a seller's disclosure statement. More than likely you had no communication directly with the Seller/flippers and therefore no fraudulent misrepresentations. Even if they simply covered up items, it will be difficult to prove that the issue existed, they knew about it and they conceal the defect.

Regarding the housing inspector - there will be a limitation of liability in the contract/ report. More than likely you did not see this information until after the report was completed, and may have been told you were simply noting receipt of the report. The limits of the liability also is very insignificant given the amount of money involved in the transaction. You should be able to avoid the limitation of liability.

You will also need to carefully review the actual report. The inspector may not have highlight the issue, but there may be notes of a concern advising you to get the issue inspected by a licensed professional dealing with the subject of the issue. Hopefully there are not such notations in your case.

Finally, Ohio has recently started to require home inspectors to be licensed. Most have accomplished this process, but many may be out there doing business as usual.

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