Can you imagine how you’d feel if you just moved into your newly purchased home and had to move right back out again because it was infested with wild animals? That’s exactly the plight of an Ohio couple who discovered that their $300,000 home in Akron was also home to more than a dozen raccoons.
The animals had apparently gone undetected during an inspection of the home, likely because they were hiding in an attic area that was blocked off for roofing repairs. It didn’t take long, however, for the new homeowners to detect signs of them. Animal droppings were outside their bedroom door and foul odors were coming from mysterious sources. The bevy of raccoons had destroyed wiring, damaged walls, torn up insulation and created other problems.
The couple says there’s significant evidence that the seller knew the raccoons were already in the home, including the fact that they’d piled bricks outside the attic door to keep them out of the main house. They’re now suing the prior homeowners, the realtor that represented those homeowners and the home inspector, among others for the losses they’ve incurred as a result of the animals.
Those losses include not only repairs to their home, but the expenses they had to shoulder as they were forced to delay the sale of the previous home while things were fixed. The seller is also being sued for refusing to release the funds for the roof repair that they’d agreed to cover in their contract.
Sellers (and their realtors) are legally obligated to disclose any “material defects” in a home of which they are aware. It isn’t always easy, however, to tell when a defect was known. If you think that you were deceived in to purchasing a home with a hidden problem, find out more about your legal options.