Q: I am being sued for fraud due to a house I rebuilt flooding.
The house flooded one time during the renovation but was corrected and never flooded for 2.5 years in which we owned the house after the renovation was completed. However, the yard continued to flood. The house was an extensive rebuild. I disclosed the yard flooded due to no storm water drainage but did not specifically say the house had flooded during the renovation since the problem was corrected. The buyer says the house has flooded every year since she bought it, however, she has undone (actually, filled in) the correction ditch that took the water away from the house and reconfigured the front yard sloping the dirt toward the house aiming the water at the house. The entire area is only 15-20 ft above sea level and is an old development that is known for flooding. Am I responsible? My attorney says I should have told her about the flooding inside during the renovation. My Broker said I didn't have to explain about the flooding since the issue had been corrected.
Florida law requires sellers to disclose any known facts that materially affect the value of the property that are not readily observable to the buyer. This includes any prior flooding or water damage, even if it has been repaired. The disclosure must be made in writing, and the seller must complete a Residential Property Disclosure Form provided by the Florida Realtors Association.
Therefore, it depends what form you completed and what you said there, as well as whether this prior flood materially affected the value of the home. Given that the yard situation was altered since the sale, you could also argue that the conditions since the sale were materially changed, and you should not be responsible.
Barbara Billiot Stage agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
A: The good thing is you have a lawyer representing you in this lawsuit. The broker is not a lawyer and should not have advised you on this matter. Their interest is to make the sale, which creates a conflict when your interest is to make the sale without getting sued. Everyone should have a lawyer representing them if they are buying or selling real estate.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.