When a home seller lies and hides defects, buyers have legal rights and can sue for compensation. When you are buying a house, the law protects you from things such as the seller’s misrepresentation and lies about latent defects in the home. If you discover hidden damage and covered up problems after your home purchase, you can sue the seller for repair costs and compensation.
Whitney, LLP’s real estate lawyers help home buyers bring claims and file lawsuits against dishonest and negligent home sellers, house flippers, real estate agents and termite inspection companies across Maryland. Our attorneys recover compensation for buyers to repair hidden damage and defects and for emotional distress. We offer free consultations.
If you need a real estate lawyer near me to help with hidden damage, failure to disclose defects, negligence or fraud in the purchase of a house, call us at 410 583 8000 or use our Online Quick Contact Form.
What is a Latent Defect?
The first thing to understand is what a latent defect is and how it can hurt you as a home buyer. A latent defect is one that does not come apparent until later. Patent defects are noticeable right away while latent ones are not always detectable during your pre-purchase inspection.
The seller of a property is in a better position than the buyer to know about latent defects. While they may not always know that there is a problem with their home, they have a legal obligation to fully disclose what they know or should know. Furthermore, they absolutely cannot lie about latent defects. It is important to know that lying also includes simply not telling you about a defect that the seller knows about.
Maryland law requires sellers to disclose latent defects because the buyers could not otherwise learn about the hidden problem until moving in after closing.
Suing a Seller for Hidden Latent Defects
You can prevent the seller from getting away with lying about latent defects if you can show that they lied or did not disclose them to you in the sales process. The law gives you protections as the buyer that keep you from being stuck with huge repair bills when the seller was not truthful with you.
The first thing that you need to do to exercise your legal rights is to hire a real estate lawyer who can help you file a lawsuit against the seller. Your hidden defect real estate lawyer will need to show that the seller lied to you or simply failed to disclose latent defects in order for you to receive compensation. They will need to show that the seller knew about the latent defects or should have known about them at the time they told you that there were no problems with the home.
Your Legal Rights When the Seller Lied About Latent Defects
If the evidence shows that the seller lied, you will have several possible legal options. One is your right to rescind the sale, meaning that the home goes back to the seller and the court will make it as if no deal ever happened. Your more common legal option is to have the seller pay for the repair bills for these latent defects.
You have the right to rely on the seller’s disclosure and not suffer the consequences of their lying. You will want to retain a real estate lawyer to have the best chance of getting damages from a seller who hid latent defects from you.
Maryland Real Estate Attorneys Helping You Sue for Latent Defects
If you were the victim of a dishonest seller, real estate agent or WDI/termite inspection company in Maryland, contact Whitney, LLP’s real estate lawyers at 410 583 8000, or use our Online Quick Contact Form, for your free consultation.
We represent homebuyers throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Frederick, Ellicott City, Glen Burnie, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Bethesda, Dundalk, Towson, Bowie, Aspen Hill and Wheaton.