Mahogany Knowledge Tree

Just Sold My House And The New Owner Is Complaining About Plumbing Issues,

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I just sold my house a month ago and the new owner is complaining about plumbing issues, arguing I should be the one to take care of it. This is a month into her living there. Is this a reasonable request?

Realtor here, so let me give it to you from my perspective and what I would tell my clients. Mind you, laws are different from state to state, so check your local laws or with the Realtor who helped you sell your home. Hopefully, it wasn’t a “For Sale By Owner” and you forgot to do some mandatory paperwork.

First, if there was a home inspection and the inspector missed the problem, it is on him and not you. If there wasn’t a home inspection, it is on the buyer because they missed their opportunity to find out these type of problems.

Second, if there is a home warranty in place (I always ask for them, but don’t always get them), then the new owner should turn it over to the home warranty company for repairs. This is the easiest way to deal with things and when I represented the Seller (or when I flipped houses) I typically purchased a home warranty for the buyer to save myself this kind of headache.

Third, when the new owner took possession of the home, they took possession “as is” unless there is specific language in the sale contract stating otherwise. During the inspection period is the time to find out problems and negotiate anything that needs to be repaired.

The bottom line is that you probably aren’t responsible for any issue that arises after the sale unless you committed fraud and knowingly withheld information THAT WAS ASKED FOR. In many States there is a disclosure that is prepared by the Seller. If you lied on that form, you committed fraud and the new owner has a case against you. If you did not lie, they do not.

You also don’t know what has happened in that month. Did a toddler throw a roll of toilet paper down the toilet? Did someone put uncooked pasta down the drain and then run water, clogging the drain? THe new owner possibly did something wrong and is looking at you to fix their problem.

Be civil and provide them any information you have, but you probably are not responsible for their problem. Point them to their home inspector as the person who should have caught any plumbing issues.