Real Estate

Post closing seller responsibility?

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  • Jun 21st, 2019 8:42 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 1, 2019
3 posts
1 upvote

Post closing seller responsibility?

I read a discussion on another site where a home buyer was encouraged to sue the seller when something broke months after closing. I've even been told buyers can sue sellers a year after taking possession over plumbing or wiring issues that the seller was never aware of (took that as a silly rumor).

Can this happen? For example let's say it's the well pump or a/c unit. Working just fine on close and a few weeks later fails. Can the buyer actually sue the previous owner for something the seller had no control over after the fact?
7 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 5, 2003
2750 posts
460 upvotes
Dawn888 wrote: I read a discussion on another site where a home buyer was encouraged to sue the seller when something broke months after closing. I've even been told buyers can sue sellers a year after taking possession over plumbing or wiring issues that the seller was never aware of (took that as a silly rumor).

Can this happen? For example let's say it's the well pump or a/c unit. Working just fine on close and a few weeks later fails. Can the buyer actually sue the previous owner for something the seller had no control over after the fact?
Depends where you live, I heard Quebec has pretty liberal laws against the previous owners. In Ontario you pretty much have to prove something is broken on closing day from what I can tell.
When the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember it is even there. But it is still there... every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
10143 posts
6442 upvotes
Edmonton
Dawn888 wrote: I read a discussion on another site where a home buyer was encouraged to sue the seller when something broke months after closing. I've even been told buyers can sue sellers a year after taking possession over plumbing or wiring issues that the seller was never aware of (took that as a silly rumor).

Can this happen? For example let's say it's the well pump or a/c unit. Working just fine on close and a few weeks later fails. Can the buyer actually sue the previous owner for something the seller had no control over after the fact?
You can sue someone for whatever you like. The real question is "Can you win?".

C
Deal Addict
May 12, 2014
2171 posts
1678 upvotes
Montreal
Flavour wrote: Depends where you live, I heard Quebec has pretty liberal laws against the previous owners.
This. It's possible to exclude this responsibility of course, but you must specify it in the contract.
Deal Addict
Oct 25, 2008
2274 posts
297 upvotes
North York
Dawn888 wrote: I read a discussion on another site where a home buyer was encouraged to sue the seller when something broke months after closing. I've even been told buyers can sue sellers a year after taking possession over plumbing or wiring issues that the seller was never aware of (took that as a silly rumor).

Can this happen? For example let's say it's the well pump or a/c unit. Working just fine on close and a few weeks later fails. Can the buyer actually sue the previous owner for something the seller had no control over after the fact?
In Ontario, unless it is stated in the agreement of purchase and sale as an addendum something to the effect that seller warrants that certain things to be working for certain number of time, then I'm not sure on what premise the buyer can sue the seller.

Most of these stuffs (the major ones anyway) should be discovered on home inspection. Roof due for replacement, old HVAC, leaks, etc
Deal Addict
Nov 16, 2011
1097 posts
807 upvotes
HAMILTON
as previously stated, anyone can sue anytime but whether they win is highly debatable since there is by default no warranties on house purchases.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 10, 2008
4358 posts
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Toronto
Prove that the previous owner did it. Sure, the materials might be date stamped (like drywall or window glass). But prove the owner installed it incorrectly and not some random Kijiji lowballer.

And then pay the lawyer and court fees.

My first counter argument, as the previous home owner, would be "It worked fine when I owned the place. It wasn't caught on inspection. So the new owner must have messed with it and is now blaming me"
Let's hug it out
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 2, 2014
7359 posts
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Toronto
Dawn888 wrote: I read a discussion on another site where a home buyer was encouraged to sue the seller when something broke months after closing. I've even been told buyers can sue sellers a year after taking possession over plumbing or wiring issues that the seller was never aware of (took that as a silly rumor).

Can this happen? For example let's say it's the well pump or a/c unit. Working just fine on close and a few weeks later fails. Can the buyer actually sue the previous owner for something the seller had no control over after the fact?
For chattels such as A/C, no. Chattels have to be in working order on closing, after that, seller is not responsible.
Kevin Somnauth, CFA
Principal Broker - First Toronto Mortgage - MA (Ontario #13176, BC #X301007)
Real Estate Salesperson - Century 21 Innovative
President's Club Award Winner At The Mortgage Architects

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