statute of limitations

Page 1 of 2  

Does anyone know what the statute of limitiations in the state of maryland is for filing a suit against a home seller and or a real estate agent for not disclosing a defect, and possibly making a fraudulent claim about the house's integrity?
short story--
house was advertised to me as having waterproof basement. not so. half of the basement has a french drain. the other half has a trench to collect water and divert it to the drain..
I have consulted a few people about this.. they said "Oh, that's the old way of doing it." (the drain was installed in the 80's.) but, a water proofing company was here tonight, and flat out told me that whatever I was told was wrong-- that it is not a waterproofed basement.. and, I could bring this against the seller and the real estate agent. Only half of the basement is water proofed, the other half is some hodgepodge system that was probably done by the old owner. He only had the half that was a real problem done, and just fudged the rest (even putting up wood panelled walls up to hide the trench.
I wasn't paying this any mind, because whatever this system was was working ok and I just thought it was the "old way", but I found an area that isn't, and it is getting worse.. and it was masked by the makeshift wall..
I have lived in the house for 2 1/4 years.. the guy here tonight thinks that the statute is 3 years.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How exactly is the ad worded? How many "experts" not people selling something can you get to testify? Did you get an inspection? Buying a used house is typically as is. Quit cryin and fix it.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 19 Apr 2007 18:01:55 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

His case may not be typical.
Even with an 'as is' sale, the seller can be liable for false representations**. You'll be happy to know that if you ever get screwed.
Whether the OP was screwed or not is another question.
Basically I agree with Trader4
**Contracts for the sale of land have to be in writing. I don't remember if that would mean that a representation that something is waterproof, or has 200amp service, or whatever, would also have to be in writing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes false representation is an exception to as is. But we havent seen the listing or anything in writing that ststes "waterproof". Plus the OP hasnt had any water in basement so it has effectively been "waterproof" so what are damages? He'd be better off saving for a professionaljob if it bothers him that much as hes not likely to get to far. I would not be too sympathetic as a juror to someone buying secondhand items

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20 Apr 2007 03:09:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

Yes, but this guy is asking for legal advice on Usenet, and jurys are often more sympathetic when the plaintif is mentally defective. Taking advantage of speds is just plain wrong.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris wrote:

Three years.
http://www.expertlaw.com/library/limitations_by_state/Maryland.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is no such thing as a "wateproof" basement. There are a variety of solutions that will attempt to limit water and moisture intrusion into a basement, but from a practical standpoint, nothing can really guarantee that a basement is waterproof. And what exactly does waterproof mean? The seller could very well argue that whatever system he had in place, which you say was working so you paid it no mind for 2 1/2 years, was in fact, waterproofing, because it kept the basement floor dry.
I think you're going to have a very difficult time prevailing in a basement water case when you didn't make any claim until 2 1/2 years after the sale. And from a practical standpoint, you're limited to small claims, because it isn't going to be worth the legal expense to pursue this, unless you want to throw good money after bad.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

get it fixed correctly, assuming the foundation is otherwise in good shape. Ie, dig up the outside of that half of basement, seal properly, add footer drains, backfill properly, etc. Lawyers ain't cheap.
aem sends....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The law would only cover something that was not readily apparent. What he describes should be pretty obvious.
And he does not seem to have been damaged. He hasn't suffered a loss, and can hardly demand the cost of making the basement "waterproof". So even if he could show they deceived him, he would still lose.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Apr 19, 8:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

So it has flooded. Or you are dont know and everything might be fine its been 2.5 yrs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
first, thanks for all the replies and discussion--
I talked to a lawyer, and it will be cheaper for me to fix it than hiring a lawyer.. it will be around $4,500 to fix.. but I am still going to talk to my real estate agent anyway..
hopefully the real estate company, which handled the sale and the listing, and my title, will be able to help.
This house WAS inspected.. the inspector said there was a french drain.. but, did not look behind the wall..
hell.. he even said that there was a drain line out to the street, which there wasn't.. just a pipe that ended under the beginning of the driveway, which caused a sink hole.. but that's another story!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you really think an inspector would dig up every line and see where it terminates during an inspection?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There's no such thing as a waterproof basement. Getting the home inspected prior to buying might have been a good idea.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The inspection likely would have missed it, it being on the other side of a wall.
You're right that this all depends on the definition of "waterproofed". What I think he describes is an older-type "cove" system. That is one way of dealing with it. A waterproofing company saying it wasn't waterproofed is no more than a sales pitch to have their system put in instead, hoping you'd contract with them expecting some future settlement!
So, in pursuing this legally, he faces:
1. What he or the owner meant by "waterproofed". He'd need an engineer, and a *disinterested* engineer, to make a statement on that.
2. If the previous owner intended to cover up. It isnt' known when the wall went up. Was the previous owner the first owner of the house?? And, again, there's the whole question if he truly honestly considered it waterproofed. And if that may possibly may *still* be said, only that the waterproofing system needs some repair.
I agree with others here - best to put the money to a solution. The first thing I see that needs to be done is for him to consult an independant engineer.
Banty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

lets say a neighbor was aware of water troubles but it wasnt disclosed on that form YOU WIN the seller pays for water control on the basement.
fear of this keeps sellers honest.
so how much $$ will fixing it cost?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

Meaning - what. The OP should talk to his neighbors about it? OK, maybe. Would said neighbor care to get involved in a lawsuit, though?

Depends on the problem and the fix.
Not sure about your points...
Banty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

well he had a contractor visit, probably gave a estimate, 500 bucks or 5 grand?
if its little money probably better to fix and forget.
but talk to neighbors sure! they may have similiar troubles and cheaper solutions, many times they can recommend a contractor.
one might remember water proofing contractors visits, or old owner talking of trouble.
if theres any way to show old owner was aware of trouble, repairs are free,.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm not saying the OP should sue, but your last sentence bothers me. People have a duty to testify. What they would "care" to do shouldn't be the OP's concern.
Except that for practical reasons he probab;y has to think about it, but the notion that people shouldn't participate in the state's criminal action or a plaintiff's civil action because they don't want to is antithetical to the concepts of "society" and "American".
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

While I agree with you in principle, reality has proven different. People have watch murders take place and stood by and did nothing. Most would just be forgetful.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But in reality, they may not care to, or even be morally obliged to. It often happens.
They may have been friends with the old owner; they may still have contact with the old owner. They may not have been so fond of the old owner, but have a mutual friend still in the neighborhood.
They may have only heard a comment or two about the basement water, of limited use even if they testify (they don't know, for example, all the mitigations may have been applied by the owner since then). People only know so much.
*Very* likely, the only time the old owner had water problems is when *they* had water problems as well(in the same storms)! They don't want to discuss that and put on record their *own* problems. Or, they view a certain level of problems to be ordinary ("everyone had water in the basement that September - you can't say from that storm"). After all, the OP hasn't even had actual water problems yet. He's only seen some signs of failure, behind a *wall* for goodness' sake.
A lot of people (and neighborhoods) have kind of an ethos of "I look the other way, so you can look the other way", so as to avoid a big-brother atmosphere. This is both good and bad.
My bet is that the OP is a first time home buyer, all upset that his product isn't perfect, falling for what a person *selling something* told him.
He needs to think about it and get real opinions. From an engineer, and from a lawyer.
Banty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.