Can I sue the seller for non-disclosure?
Question Details: We bought a house about 7 months ago. We clearly asked seller's agent if there is any problem with the roof and the answer was that it was a new roof and did not have any problems. Now that it's raining badly, we are noticing leaks. We happen to invite our neighbors and they also mentioned that the sellers were trying to fix the roof lot of times but failed to fix it. Can I sue the seller with out involving my neighbors?
You can sue the seller for fraud which is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, you would not have bought the house had you known the true condition of the roof.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property regardless of the fact that actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.
Although you have a case for fraud against the seller based on your testimony about the leaking roof, the case is strengthened with declarations signed under penalty of perjury by your neighbors who were witnesses to the faulty roof repairs by the owner.