5 Ways Basement Water Could Leave You Needing a Lawyer

“I bought a house 3 months ago. Since the first week I have had basement water leaking…

1. Lying about basement water on a seller’s disclosure form
Selling or buying a home in NJ? Learn about the NJ seller’s disclosure & basement water. These are normally made on a standard form listing types of possible physical or structural problems.

2. Basement water often leads to unhealthy mold & mildew
In October 2012 former Lakers coach Rudy Tomjanovich and his wife were ordered to pay $250,000 in punitive damages, on top of nearly $3 million in compensatory damages, to a money manager for selling him a Pacific Palisades home replete with water leaks and mold.
This is a major dilemma that every homeowner faces when they find basement water and mold problems in the home they just bought.
Basement water that causes mold is a problem especially when the seller may have misrepresented certain facts.

3. Can I sue the previous homeowners for basement water leaking ?
In most states, it’s illegal for a seller to fraudulently conceal a major or “material” physical defect in the property.
Consult a local real estate attorney to review the specific facts.
You may find this would be considered a latent defect and bring an action.
But the big question here is, did the seller know about the leakage?

Determine if the sellers you purchased from received assistance from the neighbor to “deal” with the water issue and or if it was disclosed by the helpful neighbor to them that the prior owner had water issues.

4. Tenants can bring action for basement water damages
When the tenant experiences basement water issues, it can end up in Landlord/Tenant , or possibly, Civil Court.
Wanting to get out of lease because of basement water/mold issues the landlord is not addressing is common today.
If mold is found the landlord is required to clean the mold and to also fix the condition that causes water to build up.

5. Basement water issues discovered during the sale of home
When a house is under contract for sale, the buyer will usually retain the services of a home inspector.
The home inspection is a comprehensive exam of the building from roof to basement and everything in between.
Basement water issues that arise during home inspection usually result in a re-negotiation of the sale price.
A delayed sale usually is a lost sale because buyers don’t want a house with basement water issues.