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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought this house 2 years ago. It was cheap and there was always some strange feeling like, are you sure you want this house by many people. But i did it anyways. I started renovated and soon after i got allergy problems, it is now so bad i have to move out. The walls floor joists are all infected with dry rot. I turned off the dehumidifier awhile ago which has probably made it so much worse. It is like lately when it snows or rains the humidity sets it off. I never notice it so bad but today the house whole house sort of smells musty. Needless to say i am very angry, sad, frustrated, feeling very bad because this was suppose to be my house. Actually the house is getting rather nice, with vaulted ceiling and skylights. I have put a lot of work and money in it. So what to do?

1). Sue the RE agent, quick search of 'dry rot sue ontario' show that the RE agent can be libel. I wonder is 2 years too long now. What i understand is the longer you are exposed to rot the worse you react. As i now with various 'itious.' Do you think i have good chance, not sure how much i would sue for. Pain and suffering. Also i have to pay rent now and it will take a long time to sell, all houses take a long time up here. 1 hour north of TO.
Now that i remember, she was really nervous of this when i bought the house. I am such an idiot i did not listen to what people were saying, i just though wow so cheap.
2) Sue the home inspector. How would know about the dry rot? well he could have guess. But it is not visible. So i doubt that would work.
3) Insurance claim? I do not really know if the house is savable, all the walls need to be taken out and replaced, which rather major structural issues. I am 150k in the hole with no profit.
4) Sell the house 'as is.' I might break even. The good thing about this is is that i wouldn't be libel to the next guy. But it would have to be sold to a contractor or crazy DIY.
5) Hire guys to finish the house, try to cover and smells etc. I have about $5000 worth of work to be done and the house would be finished and salable to say someone with no sense of smell. Actually in the summer there was no smell. So it is possible that people will not notice. But i am moving back to TO so it means driving back and forth.
Once the house is finished i could probably get a good price and make decent profit, 180-200k. This is probably what i will have to do. I suppose i need to hire an agent to sell it with high commission, they can saddle any law suits.

Needless to say this is one of the worst problem/screw up i've had in my life. Sadly in 2 years i was never able to fully move in because of always renovations i was waiting to get everything done.
 

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Well I guess speaking to the insurance agent would not hurt and I would get an estimate from a contractor to address all the issues rather than do a band aid solution and pass on to the next guy. I have seen those renovation shows where they have to take things back to the studs and replace the wood and come up with a $50,000 -$60,000 price tag to put the house back together ,I suppose it depends on what the new value would be if you went that route.As I see it you are probably too far in to just walk away .
 

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Well I guess speaking to the insurance agent would not hurt and I would get an estimate from a contractor to address all the issues rather than do a band aid solution and pass on to the next guy. I have seen those renovation shows where they have to take things back to the studs and replace the wood and come up with a $50,000 -$60,000 price tag to put the house back together ,I suppose it depends on what the new value would be if you went that route.As I see it you are probably too far in to just walk away .
Be careful with the sunk cost fallacy; I personally think if you can get out by breaking even with your mental health in check, that might be the best option. Would not recommend trying to hide for the next guy, they will sue you. Sell it as DIY, break even or a small loss, move on with your day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I've calmed down a bit now. I am leave this house today, thankfully. The smell is noticeable some times.

I think i can get a guy to take it all out and replace it for $3000, which will have to be done in the spring. Which means i have to stay out of the house until then. It is a home made house with thick walls of wood and concrete. All that wood is dry rotted, so when dampness comes along it flairs up. even when that is all gone i can not take out the frame which dry rot.That should be not to bad that someone can live with.
As it is now is is about 1000 sq feet around me with the dry rot, but is separated with new insulation and vapour barrier but still comes through of course.

Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents may be sued for breach of contract, negligence and misrepresentation in respect of property with mould contamination. Real estate agents may also be liable for breach of express warranty if the condition of a building has been specifically warranted.
http://www.mccarthy.ca/article_detail.aspx?id=1428

When i sell i will move to an apartment and keep my address private. That way they will not be able to find me if they think to sue. But what i understand if the RE agent sells it will be their liability, not mine. They have insurance too. Anyways once that 1000sq feet is remove that should make a big difference. I managed to live here for 2 years and it wasn't all bad, but i have had alergies problems mostly at night. But i suppose there have been some good times.
If it sold to a retired person, likely they will not notice or be bothered. Same with maybe a young couple with strong immunity.
I was thinking of calling that RE agent and threaten her with a law suit. Maybe she will just take the house off my hands instead of spending 1000's on legal fees. She must be worried about her reputation, i am thinking to write some serious blogs telling my story and exposing the agent, the lawyer and the house inspector. I have a suspicion they all know each other and i really got scammed.
The contract never said anything about 'as is.' It just didn't have any conditions.
 

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If you want to sue, your only recourse is against the previous owner. You can sue for a latent defect. There is no time limit for when to sue for a latent defect - you just need to prove that the problem you found had existed at the time the previous seller occupied the property. Dry rot is a good proof since it takes many years for that to happen.

Don't bother sueing the agent nor the home inspector since they would not have known about the issue which was not visible and located behind closed walls.

If you want to save yourself the headache of being in and out of court for a long period of time, then you can sell 'as is' but you need to disclose the problem. It could actually take you more time to sell than to settle in court unless you sell the home at a huge discount.

My advice is to send an official request (registered mail) to the previous owner advising them of the problem and giving them the oppurtunity to check out the issue and potentially resolve it for you. If they are not receptive within a reasonable delay (10-15 days), then you file for a court case. Gather all the require evidence and build your case.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks, that sounds like decent advice. The wall i can fix fairly easily, like is said for around$2500 (i won't explain unless you are really interested) The other problem is the floor joists, which are about 6 are rather fruity. I guess they can be hacked out, sister up and cover up. Should lower the mold levels to reasonable level.

I spoke to the insurance and they said they don't pay for mold. But they might pay for time out of the house, but they need to send someone over to check the claim first. I'm leaving today closing the whole house up, just drained the water tank. I'll try and stay over there as long as possible, so when i come back i can get the guy to start work and maybe i can live there again or maybe call the insurance and start a claim for temporary accommodations. I guess i'll have to be on the lam for a few years after i sell.... i think renting suits me better anyways. I suppose i have to be careful who i sell to. I am starting to understand the paranoia from the agents in the beginning, she must of thought it was a set up on the old owner that i would turn around and sue the owner, who she was trying to protect. She was trying to be careful who she sold to. It is all making sense now.
I guess they can only sue for a limited amount depending on the severity of the problem anyways. I would assume not more than 5-10k. I have already replace the rotten roof, 8k. Too bad i didn't know about this before.:upset:
 

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It was cheap
Gee whiz, what was your first clue ?

1). Sue the RE agent,....... I am such an idiot i did not listen to what people were saying, i just though wow so cheap.
Yep, you are getting there.


2) Sue the home inspector. How would know about the dry rot? well he could have guess. But it is not visible. So i doubt that would work.
So nobody saw it, but the inspector is supposed to have x ray vision or something ?
If they didn't see it, I guess you didn't either.

5) try to cover and smells etc. ............. So it is possible that people will not notice. .... get a good price and make decent profit, 180-200k. This is probably what i will have to do. I suppose i need to hire an agent to sell it with high commission, they can saddle any law suits.

Yeah, guys like you are exactly what we need these days. Thanks.

Please enjoy your trip home, maybe it should be a one way ticket.
 

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I think if you can resolve some issues as you said for $2500 -$3000 the best and most ethical thing to do is disclose the issues.Getting insurance to help with temporary accommodations is positive for sure.Mold can make you very sick and in some cases kill people ,I would be testing to find out what you are dealing with there.
 

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"It was cheap" sounds to me like you paid less than what you felt it was worth. If that's the case, putting some money into the house shouldn't be a big deal and suing the past owner would seem kinda petty to me. If we are talking major defects and 50-100+k of necessary repairs that you felt had been "hidden" from you by the past owners, then by all means - unleash the hounds!

Option #5 is just wrong.
 

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How much is the worth of the land compared to the total selling price ?.........the land still has value.

Get an estimate for replacing all the dry rot in the home...........properly.

Hire a lawyer and sue both the previous owner and the real estate agent, their brokerage, and the home inspector.

The buyer failed to disclose a problem that must have been obvious to them, and the realtor and inspector failed to provide due diligence.

Wait to see the results and then you can make an informed decision, depending on the outcome of the lawsuit.

1) Fix the property with the money you are awarded.

2) Disclose the problem and sell for a loss........if you can afford to pay the difference to the bank.

3) Tear down the house and build a new one........incorporating the old debt into the new home. If you have enough property maybe you can convert the old home into a workshop and storage area.........where dry rot is less of an issue. Between the value of the land and the value of an added workshop.......the value of the property may increase closer to what you have invested in it.

With so much dry rot in the home........the humidity levels must have been very high. I would also check local police reports to see if the home was once used as a marijuana grow op.
 

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Good luck 'trying' to sue the real estate agent.
what did your contract and conditions in writing say on your offer?and what was written up from your lawyer that handled the transaction?
I had(have still)a problem with a real estate transaction 18 mth ago re:vacant land(long story)
Anyways.......Litigation is not something that is 'easy' and you will be up against the insurance body of the real estate agents in your province(this not like suing a individual,you are suing a 'group' collectively that has a lot of 'power' and 'resources' and there is no way to predict the outcome(would take yrs likely and the up front costs are 10's of thousands)
I feel your pain!It's about HIGH TIME we as citizens demand accountability and have firm recourse(consumer protection)against real estate agents.
I can't understand why our government lets the real estate boards etc be unregulated(Financial industry is)It is not uncommon to hear 100's and thousands of story's were people have been hurt financially and emotionally from real estate dealings and realtor's go unscathed.
Securities(S.E.C)is a JOKe in this country!sadly you are likely on your own here.
 

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also note:you can not sue the seller or the sellers agent.
Your recourse is(if you have any)your agent or your lawyer.
The seller is 'far' removed from you in this transaction.
 

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also note:you can not sue the seller or the sellers agent.
Your recourse is(if you have any)your agent or your lawyer.
The seller is 'far' removed from you in this transaction.
I would have to disagree.....look up your civil code in regards to properties and latent defects. If yours is like mine, the seller is responsible for a latent defect so as long as you can prove the defect existed at the time the seller occupied the property - That is assuming you did not forego the legal warranty on title.
 

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My main point here is the transaction was conducted between 2 brokerage firms and 2 lawyers(acting for both seller and buyer)
Those dozen's of signatures that take place on the offer and the legal papers,protect almost everyone Except the buyer.
Only the op knows what he signed.
Once monies are released from trust account,between the 2 lawyers of both parties,your odds of success are Greatly reduced.
The seller is protected(i would be my life on it)legally once he signed a contract with his selling agent.
If there is any recourse,the op would have o file a lawsuit against whoever acted on his part and obviously if it came to that,the agent in question would notify his insurance(error's and omissions)
The reality is grim for the OP(trust me Mortgage u/w)
It is not easy in the op case.
Ironically if there were not professional agents involved in the transaction the op would have a better chance.
 

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To sue the agent, I think you would have to prove that they either knew or should have known about the issue. Of course they will either say they fully disclosed it to you or had no idea. You did hire a home inspector after all. Difficult to prove in court. However if you do believe or have information that could show that either the buying or selling agent knew of the rot, then you would have a case. Do you have a good relationship with your buying agent? As they may be able to help your case against the selling agent......but as I type this I am now realizing that you probably did not have a buying agent represent you....

Find out what it would actually cost to fix it properly and weight that against what you think you would get for the property 'as is'.

To sell to an elderly person, or a young family with children without knowingly disclosing issues that could harm their health, I would hope that you get sued afterwards for putting their health at risk.
 

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My main point here is the transaction was conducted between 2 brokerage firms and 2 lawyers(acting for both seller and buyer)
Those dozen's of signatures that take place on the offer and the legal papers,protect almost everyone Except the buyer.
Only the op knows what he signed.
Once monies are released from trust account,between the 2 lawyers of both parties,your odds of success are Greatly reduced.
The seller is protected(i would be my life on it)legally once he signed a contract with his selling agent.
If there is any recourse,the op would have o file a lawsuit against whoever acted on his part and obviously if it came to that,the agent in question would notify his insurance(error's and omissions)
The reality is grim for the OP(trust me Mortgage u/w)
It is not easy in the op case.
Ironically if there were not professional agents involved in the transaction the op would have a better chance.
I am not sure how you are supporting your facts but if the seller is always protected, then why shouldn't the OP sell the house 'as is' and not disclose the problem?!? Would you not think someone would come knocking at his door should he commit such a dishonest transaction? I don't know where you are from Donald and/or if the laws in your region are different than mine.....but it seems rather sketchy to be able to sell a home to someone and not be held liable for any hidden defects afterwards. Can you provide some details of the laws in your area to contradict what I am saying?
 

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I don't know all the facts in the op's case
In any event though....
I would suggest the op goes out and finds legal representation,
Than he can come back here and tell us how he successfully sue'd the seller
A person can litigate on a lot of matters,of course reality is always different!!!
Few cases ever get to the litigation stage anyways,I would bet my life the op' has little teeth in this matter but nobody is stoping him from counsel.
 

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Mold can make you very sick and in some cases kill people ,I would be testing to find out what you are dealing with there.
My brother died of COPD complicated by living in a house that had black mold in the basement. He was hospitalized in 2005 and recovered after 5 weeks. I had visited him and stayed in the house. After 5 days, I felt so bad that I moved to a hotel. I recommended that he move to a care facility (on Yonge just north of Bloor). He declined and moved back "home". Four years later he returned to the hospital and after 5 weeks he passed on.

So I believe that the house killed him. When I sold it, it was as a tear down. This is nasty stuff.

And you can do a proper remediation. It will increase your cost basis in the house. But then the house is usable for the purpose you originally bought it. This avoids the substantial frictional costs of trading RE. When your needs change, then you can enter into an expensive trade like normal.
 
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