Can I sue the previous owner regarding unpermitted work?
Question Details: My sister and I purchased a house about a year ago and twice now a pipe in the basement bathroom has disconnected mid-shower. We discovered that the previous owner did all the work putting it all in and didn't obtain permits from the city so it's likely that nothing is up to code. I know the city is going to fine him but can we sue to have it all replaced professionally?
Yes, if an owner is aware, or logically should be aware, of some problem which is not readily visible or discernable to the buyer but yet fails to disclose it, he or she can be liable based on "fraud" for the cost to remedy or repair that issue. One of the main examples of this is unpermitted work: since there is no way to tell by visual inspection whether work was permitted or not, the buyer is obligated to disclose unpermitted work. Based on what you write, you would seem to have a case for the repair or remediation costs.