How to handle a home defect with sellers a few years after the purchase

As featured in The Washington Post.

We purchased a home about three years ago, and the inspector went through the house and said everything was in great shape. But a couple of months ago, we realized we had no heat in the bedroom. There is a vent in the room, so we presumed there was heat there. We called a heating guy, and he came over. We found out there was no duct work leading up to the vent.

We use a fireplace in the room for heat, and that seemed to work. We really never thought we could do anything about how cold the room is. I’m wondering if we could go back now and make the sellers put heat into the room, or has too much time passed? When we purchased the home, it was never disclosed to us that the room had no heat.

We know people who never heat their bedroom and don’t mind the cold. You’ve survived in your bedroom for three years, and the cold hasn’t bothered you enough to look into the issue until this year. Either you live in a fairly warm location, or it’s not that much of a problem.

There are several options available to you. You can install baseboard heat fairly inexpensively or spend more money to tie the bedroom into the existing furnace. You can go after the seller (although a lot of time has passed). And you can pursue the home inspector for failing to give you accurate information about the property.

But here’s the question: If the sellers had disclosed that the bedroom didn’t have a heat source, would you have done anything different? Would you have still purchased the property?

Given your situation, we have to assume that you live in a part of the country that does not get extremely cold; otherwise, you would have noticed your first winter in the home the lack of heat in the room. If you lived in northern Minnesota, the lack of heat in that room would be obvious and of concern to anybody sleeping in the room.

Seller disclosure statements should have required the seller to tell you about the lack of heat in that particular room. Again, it might depend on where in the country you live for a “defect” to rise to a level of requiring disclosure. If you live in a state that has warm winters and heat is not a required system for homes, the lack of heat in a room might not be a defect or a problem that must be disclosed. If we assume that the seller should have disclosed that to you, then the issue is determining your damages and whether you have an action under the seller disclosure statutes of your state.

Some states have a limited time period of one or two years for a buyer to bring a claim against a seller. Given that it has been more than three years for you, you might have blown past these dates. You’ll need to talk to an attorney in your state to get more information. But even that consultation might cost you more than the fix your heating specialist can do for you.

A professional home inspector would not have been able to see behind the walls to determine if the vent was connected to the system. The inspector might have tested for airflow in the vent, but inspectors may only spot-check vents and, in this case, may not have fully checked this particular vent.

Litigation is an option. But given the cost of litigation, for which you would likely have to pay upfront rather than on contingency, we think the cost of litigation might be far greater than the cost of tying the room to your central heating system.

However, if the local building code allows for electric baseboard heaters, you might solve your problem by installing a heating source in the room quickly and fairly inexpensively.

It seems to us that given the time and the scope of the issue, you should let it go and move on. But for more details on your options, please consult with a local attorney.

21 replies
  1. adidas ultra boost 3.0 says:

    I have to show my respect for your kindness for individuals that should have guidance on this particular topic. Your personal dedication to passing the message all-around ended up being astonishingly important and have in every case empowered employees much like me to get to their pursuits. This insightful key points can mean this much to me and somewhat more to my peers. Many thanks; from all of us.

  2. yeezy boost 350 says:

    I’m writing to let you understand of the superb discovery my daughter obtained studying your site. She figured out some pieces, which include what it’s like to have an amazing coaching nature to let folks quite simply master specific impossible subject areas. You truly exceeded our expectations. I appreciate you for giving those interesting, trustworthy, informative and even fun tips on the topic to Ethel.

  3. furtdsolinopv says:

    Thanks for some other wonderful article. Where else may just anybody get that type of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  4. michael jordan shoes says:

    I wanted to create you one tiny word so as to thank you very much once again for those superb tricks you have shown in this article. This is certainly wonderfully open-handed with you to offer unreservedly what exactly a number of people could have marketed for an ebook to get some cash for themselves, principally considering the fact that you might have done it in case you considered necessary. The suggestions as well worked to be the easy way to realize that most people have a similar eagerness just like my own to know a great deal more in respect of this matter. I think there are several more pleasant opportunities in the future for folks who take a look at your website.

  5. lacoste online shop says:

    I want to express thanks to the writer for rescuing me from this type of condition. Just after looking out throughout the online world and getting proposals which are not beneficial, I thought my entire life was gone. Existing without the strategies to the difficulties you’ve fixed by means of your good blog post is a crucial case, as well as the ones that would have negatively affected my career if I hadn’t discovered the blog. The competence and kindness in controlling a lot of stuff was important. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a stuff like this. I’m able to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for your reliable and results-oriented guide. I will not hesitate to recommend your web page to any person who would like assistance on this area.

  6. nmd uk says:

    I precisely wanted to thank you very much yet again. I do not know what I would have followed without the type of thoughts shown by you relating to that concern. It truly was an absolute scary dilemma in my opinion, nevertheless taking note of your specialised technique you dealt with the issue forced me to weep over joy. Extremely happy for the work and even trust you are aware of a great job that you’re accomplishing training people today through the use of a blog. I know that you have never encountered any of us.

  7. lebron 15 shoes says:

    I needed to post you one very small observation so as to thank you so much yet again for your personal splendid pointers you have provided on this site. This is quite pretty open-handed of you to convey unhampered all many people would have marketed for an electronic book to help with making some cash for themselves, mostly since you could have done it if you wanted. The creative ideas in addition served as a easy way to know that other people online have similar fervor much like my own to know very much more with regard to this problem. I believe there are millions of more fun times in the future for individuals that scan through your website.

  8. yeezy boost 350 v2 says:

    A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit evaluation on this. And he actually bought me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If possible, as you become experience, would you thoughts updating your blog with more details? It is highly useful for me. Massive thumb up for this blog put up!

  9. adidas ultra says:

    I simply wanted to thank you so much once more. I am not sure the things that I would have followed without the advice shown by you over such question. It had been an absolute scary problem in my opinion, but coming across a new specialized form you dealt with it made me to weep with happiness. Extremely happy for the advice and then wish you really know what a powerful job you are always accomplishing educating most people through the use of your websites. Most probably you haven’t met all of us.

  10. jordan 12 says:

    This is the fitting weblog for anybody who wants to search out out about this topic. You realize a lot its almost onerous to argue with you (not that I actually would want匟aHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just nice!

  11. adidas gazelle says:

    There are some fascinating points in time on this article but I don抰 know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I’ll take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as nicely

  12. links of london says:

    This is the right weblog for anyone who desires to search out out about this topic. You realize so much its nearly arduous to argue with you (not that I actually would want匟aHa). You positively put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just nice!

  13. adidas ultra boost 3.0 says:

    I precisely needed to appreciate you again. I do not know the things that I would’ve carried out without those thoughts provided by you concerning that area. It became an absolute scary concern for me personally, nevertheless looking at this professional way you managed it forced me to weep for delight. Extremely happy for this support as well as pray you know what a powerful job you have been undertaking teaching some other people using your webblog. I am sure you haven’t encountered all of us.

  14. jordan shoes says:

    I used to be very happy to find this internet-site.I wished to thanks to your time for this wonderful read!! I undoubtedly enjoying each little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.

  15. cheap jordan shoes says:

    That is the best weblog for anyone who needs to find out about this topic. You notice a lot its nearly hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want匟aHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, just nice!

  16. adidas yeezy says:

    I precisely needed to say thanks yet again. I’m not certain what I would’ve implemented in the absence of the entire secrets contributed by you regarding such subject matter. It has been the frustrating problem for me personally, nevertheless observing a specialized tactic you handled it made me to cry over delight. I am thankful for the guidance and have high hopes you know what an amazing job you happen to be putting in instructing the mediocre ones thru a blog. I know that you have never come across any of us.

  17. yeezys says:

    I wish to express some appreciation to you for rescuing me from this problem. After surfing through the online world and getting ways which were not pleasant, I thought my entire life was done. Existing devoid of the approaches to the difficulties you have fixed through this site is a crucial case, and the kind which might have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across the website. Your actual skills and kindness in controlling all the pieces was tremendous. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not discovered such a subject like this. I am able to at this time relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for this reliable and sensible help. I will not hesitate to endorse your web sites to any person who will need counselling about this situation.

  18. dior glasses says:

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I’m experiencing problem with ur rss . Don抰 know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  19. converse outlet says:

    I am typically to blogging and i really recognize your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and keep checking for brand spanking new information.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.