Q: I’m in the midst of purchasing a condo. I had it inspected and the inspector informed me that is has polybutelyne plumbing. I was late on my inspection (didn’t know, but I had it inspected after the 7 day period).
I told the seller that I didn’t want to purchase this because it has this type of plumbing that could cause major problems. He’s assured me that he can get me a letter from the Engineering firm that did the final assessment on the condo’s saying that this plumbing is not polybutelyne and has no class act law suit against it.
The contractor did have to fix other problems (and they did, they fixed siding and railings, but left the plumbing). I’m wondering why the Engineering firm didn’t replace the plumbing and also why he’s telling me it isn’t polybutelyne when it clearly is gray plumbing and the inspector was sure it was this type of plumbing.
He also said he can get a letter from the condo association stating that this isn’t poly plumbing. It looks just like poly to me and I’m wondering if I can get out of the deal now. We’ve done everything except sign the final closing papers and I was late on getting my inspection.
I thought of contacting the lender to tell them of the finding and see if they would reconsider giving me the loan based on the new findings, also check to see if I can even be covered by insurance if I end up having to purchase this. Do they have me stuck purchasing this because I was late on my inspection???
A: You should consult with a real estate attorney, but because you were late with your inspection, they could decide not to let you out of the deal. That’s why there are expiration dates for satisfying contingencies of the contract.
As to the question of what kind of plumbing you actually have in this property, it appears that there isn’t a consensus about what kind of plumbing it is. If you think this is polybutelene plumbing, you should have a different plumber come out and give you another opinion. If the seller is willing to have the building engineer certify that this isn’t polybutelene plumbing, that’s a nice piece of information to have in writing. I’d take it, and I’d also go and talk to the engineer about what kind of plumbing it is.
For more information on polybutelene plumbing, you can go to a website called ClassActionAmerica.com. And, consult with your real estate attorney about whether you can get out of this contract, or not.
NOTE: This column is distributed by Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022. This column may not be resold, reprinted, resyndicated or redistributed without written permission from the publisher.