Many people like to move into older houses that have been modernized inside. Especially in cities, old bank or factory buildings are being turned into condos. These rehabs give people the pleasure of living in an older attractive building with the convenience of modern amenities. But beneath the surface of the new interiors evil may lurk. The evil could be asbestos or lead that was part of the original building and was just covered up by a contractor eager to cut corners. Or the evil could be massive leaks or other structural problems that also were just covered up. Locks Law Firm has represented home owners in cases where these evils were discovered.
Fortunately, there is a remedy. The Pennsylvania Real Estate Seller Disclosure Law requires the seller to disclose to the buyer any material defects known to the seller. A standard disclosure statement has boxes to check by the seller to let the buyer know if there are structural problems, leak problems, asbestos, lead and other issues. If the seller lies and says he does not know of any such problems, and if the buyer discovers there are such problems, the buyer can bring suit under the Real Estate Seller Disclosure Law.
A suit under this law must be brought within two years. Also, as a practical matter, a suit can be brought only against a seller or contractor who was directly involved with the rehab work, and so had to know of the presence of leaks, asbestos, etc. Buying an older home from an older individual who has lived there for 30 or more years will probably not be appropriate, because an average homeowner may not know if he or she has asbestos, though they certainly should know if they had leaks.
If you have recently purchased a rehab and have discovered evil, please contact Jonathan Miller or Jerry Lindheim of Locks Law Firm. We will be happy to consult with you, and, if appropriate, file suit on your behalf.