Can you take action against the seller for problems found with a house after closing if it's been a couple of years?
Question Details: We bought our house he house almost 2 1/2 years ago. However, 2 months after closing the roof leaked. It was in the contract to be replaced, however the seller only replaced a portion and did not disclose that the other part was done by the seller roofer replaced roof leak area at no charge but there was water damage to flooring. The buying realtor told us that we were out of luck because we had already closed and there was nothing we could do. A month later, the sewer line clogged and we had 10 feet of tree root pulled out. Later found multiple Drano bottles in the shed in the backyard. Then, 4 months ago, the electric in the living room went out. The electrician came and said that there was bad wiring in the wall. He went into the attic crawlspace and below the house and found wiring issues in both areas. The home inspector when the house was bought said there was no access point to get into the attic, so he did not inspect it. Note, the selling agent was also the seller's daughter
1) Roof leak: if the seller violated the contract by only replacing part of the roof when he contracted to replace it all, you can sue him for "breach of contract" for the cost of repairs. Closing does NOT let the seller of of his contractual responsibilities, and you can sue him for violating them post-closing.
2) Sewer line: it is fraud to not disclose some problem or condition known, or which the seller logically should have known about based on the facts, if the problem or condition is not one that would have been readily obvious to a buyer. A sewer line problem is not readily obvious, and the bottles of Drano suggest the seller know of the issues but nonetheless failed to disclose it. Based on what you write, you may be able to sue him based on fraud for costs related to the line.
3) Electrical: the issue is whether there is evidence the seller knew of, but concealed/failed to disclose, the bad wiring. If so, this, too, may be fraud. But if it would be reasonable that the seller would not have known, then he would not be liable. Liability for fraud depends on knowledge. If there is no or limited access to where the wiring was, the seller might not have known; and at least, it may be difficult to prove that he did.
You should still be within the relevant "statutes of limitation," or time periods within which you must start or fiole a lawsuit, in your state, which is 3 years for fraud and 6 years for breach of contract. You appear to be within time to sue, if you choose to.