Mortgage FAQ: Recourse for a Leaky Roof that the Seller May Have Known About?
"WE MOVED INTO OUR NEW HOME TWO WEEKS AGO. DURING THE FIRST RAINSTORM, WE FOUND THAT THE ROOF HAS A LARGE LEAK. WE THINK THE SELLER MAY HAVE KNOWN ABOUT IT. WHAT RECOURSE DO WE HAVE?"
When a home is sold, a seller is required by law to disclose any “known material defects” to the buyer. Generally, a material defect as defined by such a law—known as a disclosure law—will only include major issues such as structural problems, water and sewage issues, pest infestation, and other large-scale problems.
On the surface, it seems that your roof leak may qualify as a major material defect and if the seller failed to disclose the problem, they may be liable for it. However, you should definitely investigate further.
Is it possible that the roof just began leaking?
Was the rainstorm unusually powerful?
Is there evidence of previous water damage?
Also, a key part of disclosure laws is whether or not the material defect was known by the seller. In other words, if the seller was unaware of the problem, they may not be liable.
Is the leak in the attic where it may not have been seen?
Is it possible that the sellers didn’t consider the leak a major issue?
What leads you to believe that the seller knew about the leak?
There are plenty of gray areas with disclosure laws so before charging ahead with claims that the seller broke the law, discuss your options with a qualified real estate attorney.
For more than 25 years, Omega Financial has been serving mortgage clients in Massachusetts. Our brokers have approximately 50 years in the mortgage business. You always will receive fast, courteous, and accurate information. Omega Financial, Inc. is a company duly licensed to operate in Massachusetts as a Mortgage Brokerage. We are located in the Town of Norwood, Massachusetts where we have been operating as Omega Financial Incorporated since 1988.
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