When it comes to buying a house, a car, or anything important in life for that matter, it’s caveat emptor. In English, it’s buyer beware.
Eric and Louise Brown, a son and mother who bought a home in Forest, Ontario, learned that the hard way after Justice Russell Raikes threw out their claim seeking $80,000 in damages.
The two bought the home near Sarnia from Gary and Wanda Cassidy in 2011. After taking ownership of the property, the Browns discovered water and mould damage in the basement, an issue never flagged by the previous owners.
The Cassidys bought the house in 1983, and had to bring in a contractor in 2002 to fix the same issues in the basement.
The Browns claim that when the Cassidys were asked if there were any water issues, the response was no. The Cassidys argue that they fully disclosed the fact that there were past water problems.
The Browns did not have a home inspection done before the purchase, nor did they retain the services of a lawyer at any point during the transaction.
Justice Raikes, in his Superior Court decision, found that Eric and Louise had not used the contractual protections needed to shift the risk of any deficiencies in the property to the seller, as highlighted here in Law Times.