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Seller left house in appalling condition. What are my rights?

Santa Clarita, CA |

I just bought a house and walls are filled with huge holes (not just picture holes). Anchors have been ripped out, tv mounts that were bolted to the wall were removed leaving fist-sized plaster holes and the walls are covered with marker and stains that won't come out.

Are they responsible financially for repainting and plastering? This is not the condition it was purchased in although I understand that we're to assume reasonable wear and tear.

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

And you saw the house before you closed, it was in appalling condition, and you closed anyway? WHat would have prompted you to do that?

Asker

Posted

Attorney Gallo, she was still living in the house when we closed. She had 2 weeks to move out and during that time ransacked the house.

Vincent J. Gallo

Vincent J. Gallo

Posted

And: 1) a substantial escrow wasn't held to ensure against matter such as this; and 2) who was your attorney who represtned you who gave his or her "blessing" to close without you being adequately protected with a substantial escrow being held for your protection?

Asker

Posted

Attorney Gallo. We do have a security deposit in escrow. I am trying to determine if we are legally allowed to deduct for patching and paint since it seems like that could fall under "reasonable wear and tear" in some literature I am finding. I don't want to be unreasonable by deducting for the cost of paint and labor even though it is required in 3 rooms of the house. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

Asker

Posted

There were obviously pictures hanging on the walls when we did our walkthrough. I did not know that they were anchored/bolted to the wall and she would rip them out.

Posted

Were these holes visible when you did your final walk through inspection before close of escrow? If yes, you're pretty much stuck by waiver. If not, and the house was occupied by the seller until the close of escrow, you can sue the seller in small claims court for up to $10,000, on the claim of waste to real property. Once escrow was opened, you became the equitable owner and the seller had a duty not to commit waste to your equitable interests, which ripened into legal ownership at the close.

Good luck

Richard A. Rodgers, Esq.
SHANE, DIGIUSEPPE & RODGERS LLP
3125 Old Conejo Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
(805) 230-2525
rar@sdresq.com
www.sdresq.com

As stated in the AVVO.COM Terms and Conditions of Use, this answer is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship or privilige is created by this response.

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