How do I know if I have a claim for a defect after purchasing my home?

| May 25, 2021 | Property Law

You just bought your dream home, and it cost well north of a million dollars. It’s a massive investment in your family’s future, and you believe that the home is in good condition.

However, once you move in, you begin having some serious and expensive issues with the property. How do you know if these are just the normal costs of home ownership or if you have a claim for a defect?

Does the issue go beyond what you’d expect?

There are a lot of factors to consider here, but you’re generally looking for issues that are worse than you’d expect and go beyond the wear and tear that all homeowners face. In some cases, the specific problems are the same, but your issue is that you did not know about the problem before buying.

For instance, maybe the roof leaks. Most roofing systems are rated for around 30 years and will break down, no matter how well they are installed. But there’s a big difference between buying a home and then seeing leaks a decade later, as the roof ages, and starting to get leaks right away because the sellers neglected to tell you that it was already happening.

Other examples of potential defects include:

  • Broken HVAC systems
  • Drainage problems and flooding
  • Fire hazards, like old wires
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Excessive rot
  • Unrepaired damage from old events, like floods or house fires

Severity can play a role in whether or not you make a claim. Some issues are easier to fix when they’re small, but, if the seller hid the defects, that could allow them to grow worse over time. A crack in the foundation could grow, for instance, or mold could spread within the walls. These issues can eventually become incredibly costly to fix.

What do you need to do next?

If you have run into defects or damage that was covered up before you bought the house, you may feel you have been treated unfairly and that the costs put a serious financial burden on the family. You need to know if you have a right to compensation to help cover these costs.