Recent storms caused some water spots and while repairing the drywall in the ceiling we discovered major damage to the duct work. Large, rusted out holes and clear diy repairs with screws and sheet metal. (It’s awful) there was a previous roof leak and replacement which was incuded in the disclosure report, but no mention of the damage to duct work. It was no visible due to insulation and drop ceiling of the attic during the home inspection
Failure to disclose, or making a false statement on a SPDS, can amount to misrepresentation, fraud and/or intentional concealment, depending on whether the seller knew or should have known about the problem. In your particular case, proving the seller knew, or should have known about the issue, will turn, in part, on the opinion of expert contractors, who will testify as to the existence and estimated date of the repairs to the ductwork. Obtaining a favorable judgment in your favor at trial, on the other hand, may also turn on whether the jury finds (1) that the seller actually got the info about the duct leak, and if so, (2) that a reasonable seller should have been able to discern between a leak to the roof and to the air duct. To the extent that the duct is often concealed by drywall, which is part of the ceiling, a layperson may reasonably have failed to differentiate between the air duct and the roof when making the disclosures to the buyer.
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