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  1. #1
    dhoover is offline Junior Member
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    Statute of limitations of disclosure statement

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Pennsylvania

    I bought my house 09/2004. I've recently discovered old insect damage and damp subfloor. There is evidence of past repair to the area, but there has also been recent repair to an adjacent area. I've just had an insect inspection and treatment. The inspector reported all damage is old (no present activity). I had the home inspected before purchase but the damage was hidden by "ceiling coverings" that the inspector didn't remove. ( no evidence on ceiling coverings )

    How long (in PA) do I have to take action against the seller for old insect damage? I guess I really can't "prove" that the damage was there and he knew about it when I bought the home. I may also have ruined any claim by having some repair work done, even though that work has not been done to the insect damaged area.

    The seller was the original, and only, previous owner.
    Last edited by dhoover; 09-01-2008 at 05:30 PM.
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhoover View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Pennsylvania

    I bought my house 09/2004. I've recently discovered old insect damage and damp subfloor. There is evidence of past repair to the area, but there has also been recent repair to an adjacent area. I've just had an insect inspection and treatment. The inspector reported all damage is old (no present activity). I had the home inspected before purchase but the damage was hidden by "ceiling coverings" that the inspector didn't remove. ( no evidence on ceiling coverings )

    How long (in PA) do I have to take action against the seller for old insect damage? I guess I really can't "prove" that the damage was there and he knew about it when I bought the home. I may also have ruined any claim by having some repair work done, even though that work has not been done to the insect damaged area.

    The seller was the original, and only, previous owner.

    **A: what did your Realtor tell you when you asked?
  3. #3
    dhoover is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    **A: what did your Realtor tell you when you asked?
    I need to clarify. Before I purchased the home in 2004, I had a "home" inspection with no signs of insect damage, but that inspector did not remove ceiling panels etc.

    Now in 2008, i discovered the old damage, and had a national company do a termite inspection. They found the old damage. (I had removed the ceiling panels in the finished basement.)

    So, neither the realtor nor the home inspector knew about it when I purchased the home.
    I recently talked to the realtor again and she didn't think I could take action against the original homeowner, but didn't mention a limitation of time.

    I'm really not too surprised that after 4 years, it's too late to do anything, but I'm not giving up yet. Just not sure it's worth hiring an attorney over.

    I just can't seem to find the statute of limitations in PA real estate law online.
  4. #4
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhoover View Post
    I need to clarify. Before I purchased the home in 2004, I had a "home" inspection with no signs of insect damage, but that inspector did not remove ceiling panels etc.

    Now in 2008, i discovered the old damage, and had a national company do a termite inspection. They found the old damage. (I had removed the ceiling panels in the finished basement.)

    So, neither the realtor nor the home inspector knew about it when I purchased the home.
    I recently talked to the realtor again and she didn't think I could take action against the original homeowner, but didn't mention a limitation of time.

    I'm really not too surprised that after 4 years, it's too late to do anything, but I'm not giving up yet. Just not sure it's worth hiring an attorney over.

    I just can't seem to find the statute of limitations in PA real estate law online.


    **A: please answer my question.
  5. #5
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    **A: please answer my question.
    Are your eyes tired from looking at pictures of vice presidential candidates?

    Quote Originally Posted by dhoover View Post
    ...

    So, neither the realtor nor the home inspector knew about it when I purchased the home.
    I recently talked to the realtor again and she didn't think I could take action against the original homeowner, but didn't mention a limitation of time.

    ...
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  6. #6
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorjudge View Post
    Are your eyes tired from looking at pictures of vice presidential candidates?
    **A: and my ears are tired of hearing them speak.
  7. #7
    dhoover is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    **A: please answer my question.
    The agent said nothing about it at the time of the sale because she did not know.
    I called her again today and she said she thought I had waited too long and it would be hard to prove that the seller knew about the damage at the time of the sale. She said she had not had a buyer take action against a seller after such a long period of time, but she did not know of the legal time limit. She said a lawyer would have to give that answer.
    She has been selling real estate for 25 years. I know her and trust her

    I did find the disclosure law online but it did not mention a time limit after the sale.

    [url=http://members.aol.com/StatutesPa/68.Cp.23.html]REAL ESTATE SELLER DISCLOSURE ACT[/url]

    So I'm just trying to find out if there is a specific time limit for taking action against a seller.
  8. #8
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhoover View Post
    The agent said nothing about it at the time of the sale because she did not know.
    I called her again today and she said she thought I had waited too long and it would be hard to prove that the seller knew about the damage at the time of the sale. She said she had not had a buyer take action against a seller after such a long period of time, but she did not know of the legal time limit. She said a lawyer would have to give that answer.
    She has been selling real estate for 25 years. I know her and trust her

    I did find the disclosure law online but it did not mention a time limit after the sale.

    [url=http://members.aol.com/StatutesPa/68.Cp.23.html]REAL ESTATE SELLER DISCLOSURE ACT[/url]

    So I'm just trying to find out if there is a specific time limit for taking action against a seller.
    **A: so the agent that you talked to is YOUR agent?
  9. #9
    dhoover is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeGuru View Post
    **A: so the agent that you talked to is YOUR agent?
    Yes, she was my agent in 2004 when I purchased the home.
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    And, what did the local real-estate attorney say during your consultation?
  11. #11
    dhoover is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    And, what did the local real-estate attorney say during your consultation?

    I have not consulted with an attorney yet.
    I posted here hoping to get some information on the PA real estate law that I cannot find online.
  12. #12
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhoover View Post
    I have not consulted with an attorney yet.
    I posted here hoping to get some information on the PA real estate law that I cannot find online.
    I suggest that you consult with a local RE attorney.
  13. #13
    Jonny_S is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhoover View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Pennsylvania

    How long (in PA) do I have to take action against the seller for old insect damage? I guess I really can't "prove" that the damage was there and he knew about it when I bought the home. I may also have ruined any claim by having some repair work done, even though that work has not been done to the insect damaged area.

    The seller was the original, and only, previous owner.
    Not sure if you ever found an answer to this simple question - a lot of people dodged all around it. It's 2 years.

    68 Pa.C.S.A. 7311. Failure to comply
    ...
    (b) Statute of limitations. An action for damages as a result of a violation of this chapter must be commenced within two years after the date of final settlement.
  14. #14
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks to Jonny for looking up the SOL. Even if you were within the timeframe, it would have been a tough case. You have to prove the seller (not the Home Inspector, not the realtor) knew that there was an EXISTING problem and failed to disclose it. What was reasoned to be proper repairs of past damage do not require disclosure. The fact that your floor is damp NOW is no indication of known past problems either. Termites and water issues are not directly related either.

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