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Does the home buyer have standing to sue the home seller's roofing contractor for installing a faulty roof?

Springfield, IL |

We learned after purchasing a home last fall that the new roof installed by the seller, about a year prior to the purchase of the home, consisted of plywood sheathing placed over the top of the previously existing asphalt shingles (which in turn are on top of the original sheathing), and then a fresh layer of shingles placed over that new sheathing. So, sheathing, shingles, sheathing, shingles. According to multiple roofing contractors, this situation is bizarre and highly unusual, probably not safe (depends on how well the second layer of sheathing was secured), and likely violates local code. Yet two attorneys have indicated we have no standing to sue the seller's roofing contractor because we have no contractual relationship with that contractor - our contract was with the seller

Attorney Answers 2


  1. I'm wondering how many attorneys will be enough? :)

    Did the sellers make any particular representations as to the roof being new, etc.? If so, I would recommend that you immediately contact a real estate attorney to see if you have a good case. you might be pushing on a statute of limitation for your claim, so please do this soon.

    The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs. www.figgardenlaw.com


  2. Dear Springfield Home Owner:

    I am an attorney licensed to practice law in New York. I do not practice law in Illinois.

    Your state has a robust statute, known as "Illinois Roofing Industry Licensing Act" (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1346&ChapterID=24), and roofing contractors are required to be licensed and trained. Any roofing work requires a permit. The contractor's licencing information is attached to the permit.

    You may obtain a copy of the permits for the roofing job on the house. You may file a complaint against the contractor for the bizarre work. In any case, the seller should have turned over to you the original warranty and contract (copy) for the roof work, as you as the successor owner would be allowed to enforce the warranty.

    Of course, if the work was performed illegally, by an unlicensed contractor, without filed plans or a permit, the seller and you and the roof contractor have greater problems.

    There have to be attorneys in your state who deal with defective roof construction, especially armed with such a powerful statute. You also need to review your closing statement for the warranty from the seller, and if you do not have the warranty discuss this issue with your closing attorney.

    Read the statute "Illinois Roofing Industry Licensing Act", as nothing seems left out from protecting the citizens of your state when it comes to having roofs on their homes.

    Good luck.

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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