Q: Five years ago I bought my first property. It was a single family home with a studio apartment attached. I have just been notified by code enforcement that the previous owner never pulled permits for the studio.
Can I sue him for the costs I will incur in rectifying the situation? Also, I noticed on all of his real estate deeds he uses an incorrect address. Does this affect the validity of the transaction?
A: In most states, you have a certain number of years to sue the seller for failing to make accurate disclosures or for breach of contract issues. Since you bought the property five years ago, it’s likely that the statutory period expired. You should discuss your legal options with a litigator who has experience in real estate and seller disclosure law.
In terms of the transaction being valid, you should go back to the title company or escrow company that helped you close your deal and discuss the “inaccurate” address issue with them. However, the address of a home is usually not as important when you buy and sell real estate as the legal description of the property. If the legal description is correct but the address is wrong, you are probably fine — but a real estate attorney could verify that for you.