Is there any way to possibly make the previous owners of the house you bought buy back the house?

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This is long but you will need the story……..I live in Pennsylvania and it was an FHA loan. I purchased a house on June 18, 2010. The night we moved in we had a sewage coming up the inlet pipe into the septic tank. I had a local septic company come out and look. They informed me the previous owners new about the break and didn’t fix it because they were in the process of selling the house and would just disclose it. Well they didn’t, but no big deal because my dad and I fixed it for $ 75 in costs. Well the septic company also informed me that the baffles needed replaced which was about $ 2500 in costs that they did not fix but knew about also. The whole reason they did not fix the baffles though was because the drain field was already shot. Now to fix the whole system were talking 20-30 thousand dollars. But the problem is that due to new laws my neighbors well is within 100ft so I cannot legally have a drain field. Next option would be a 30-40 thousand dollar sand mound but I do not have enough property and can not purchase anymore (neighbors own property behind me and not willing to sell). So my ONLY option is holding tanks which I would be looking at around 600-700 dollars a month to empty which I can not afford on top of my mortgage nor would I have ever purchased the property if they would of admitted all of this in the sales disclosure. I do have more then enough proof they knew (Paperwork from the septic company telling him all these problems that he signed a waiver on, the neighbors statement that he tried to buy land to fix the problem, a statement from the family who rented from him saying they got evicted so they would not completely mess up the septic system before he sold the property) I did get a lawyer who is working on it and did say it would all be taken care of and we would be out of there. But I know how lawyers are and might just tell me that to keep me giving him money. I just want to see what others inputs are on this. I know holding tanks are my only option cause that came from the septic company and the countys septic inspector. Also, no public sewage coming through for AT LEAST 10 years, I would fix it myself to last til then but the house isn’t big enough for my little boys to live there til they are 12 and 14. I also DID pay $ 150 to have the septic system visually inspected, the system test was $ 2000 but only got the visual because the sellers disclosure stated there was no problems with the septic system and everything worked great. And the visual inspection couldn’t see the drain field shot. Thanks for any response.

  1. Reply
    February 4, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Dang, that is a wall of text that I’m not going to read.

  2. Reply
    Thomas T
    February 4, 2011 at 5:24 am

    There s liability on the part of the sellers for knowingly failing to disclose material defects in the septic system. If you sue for equitable relief to give them the house back and to get your money back you may not be successful if they have spent the proceeds and do not have it to return to you. Otherwise you could sue for damages to recover your current and future costs. The issue of ability to pay the judgment may still be a problem. You need to talk with a lawyer about the best way to proceed.

  3. Reply
    February 4, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Im sure there is some sort of lemon law for houses that covers this kind of stuff. Especially if they knew of the faults with the septic. Try to find records of any repairs to the septic they had done previously so you can prove they knew of the problem.

  4. Reply
    February 4, 2011 at 6:37 am

    As long as the septic company is willing to go to court saying that the previous owner knew of this problem and failed to disclose it you have a valid leg to stand on. You will need a lawyer for this one though.

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