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Is my home’s previous owner required to notify me of defects?

| Sep 23, 2019 | real estate

When you move into the home you just bought, the last thing you want is to find out there are defects that can affect your quality of life and even your safety. Unless you knowingly bought a fixer-upper and are prepared to make the repairs, you expect your new home to be reasonably free of problems. Unfortunately for many Indiana residents, construction defects sometimes show up after the deed changes hands, which can be costly and affect the home’s resale value.

As FindLaw explains, defects in the home should be detected during the home inspection, before you make the purchase. Usually, the seller would be required to fix these issues or, at the very least, to notify prospective homebuyers of the defects. Many such defects are not uncommon and are relatively easy to find, including mold, drainage problems, faulty plumbing and cracks in the foundation. Dry rot, substandard building materials and serious structural defects may be more difficult to spot in the home inspection. In fact, it could be years before you notice any issues.

Although home inspections when the house is on the market are usually standard, it may be wise to employ an inspector you trust to thoroughly comb the house for potential problems. If you suspect an issue down the line, it is likely to take additional inspections, as well as work with insurers, to determine if the problems existed before you bought the house. Usually, the homeowners’ insurance policy that was in effect at the time the damage occurred is responsible for compensating you. Since this is a complex area of law, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.