The one thing we hate to see is poor plumbing installation or bad pipes in a beautiful vintage home. Unfortunately, when you purchase a home built before the turn of the century, you may run into outdated and harmful materials used for your plumbing system unless renovations are completed.
We know buying an older home with so much potential (but needs a lot of work) is exciting. However, discovering plumbing issues after buying a house can quickly quell that excitement. Your dreams aren’t flushed down the proverbial drain if you’ve already purchased a new home with faulty or bad plumbing. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey can help you navigate your next steps.
Who Is Liable for Plumbing Issues After Buying a House?
Typically, when you purchase a home, you’re responsible for the repairs if the seller didn’t complete them before closing. We say “typically” because there are some exceptions. Determining plumbing issue liability would require a court to review:
- Documents showing the seller misrepresented the plumbing issues
- The nature of plumbing problems and their extent
- Your home’s purchase agreement
- Home inspection reports (if a plumbing inspection was performed)
If this information can prove that the seller and/or the seller’s real estate agent or broker knew of the plumbing problems before closing on the home but didn’t disclose them, the seller could be liable for the repairs.
Why Didn’t the Seller Disclose the Plumbing Issues?
There are various reasons a seller wouldn’t disclose plumbing issues. Perhaps the seller didn’t realize the extent of the repairs. Maybe they had a plumber seemingly complete repairs, but they weren’t done right. Or the seller may have tried their hand at DIY plumbing upgrades to save on costs without a license or permits. The most important thing is you do your part and ensure a thorough home inspection is completed before moving forward in the purchase process.
Tips to Resolve Plumbing Issues After Closing on a New Home
When you find minor or major plumbing issues after buying a home, all the happiness you previously felt is replaced with worry, anger, and confusion. But there are some things you can do to get plumbing repairs taken care of, so you might not have to pay for them out of pocket.
Allow Your Realtor to Contact the Previous Owner
You can’t always anticipate what a home inspector will find or what the previous homeowner will disclose verbally or in writing. Let your real estate agent be the intermediary between you and the seller. You’re dealing with enough, trying to navigate cooking, showering, and bathing with plumbing issues. It’s always a good idea to review documents containing real estate jargon with your agent or broker to help clarify information, so you know your rights and responsibilities regarding any plumbing repairs.
Seek Legal Support
In South Jersey, sellers are legally obligated to disclose any home defects to a potential buyer. Our disclosure laws require a home seller to provide a form outlining specific issues with a home they’re selling. Suppose “plumbing system” is or isn’t on the itemized list of repairs, and the seller didn’t take care of the issue or knowingly didn’t tell you there was a problem. It’s best to consult a legal professional for advice and assistance. You may find some financial relief by getting the plumbing issues and legal fees covered by the seller.
Determine If It’s Worth the Hassle
Most home purchases aren’t all smooth sailing, which can leave you happy it’s all over, even if you discover plumbing issues after closing. Still, the fact that you were misled can leave you feeling like justice is the best recourse. At that point, it’s up to you to decide if going the legal route or contacting the seller is worth the trouble. Consult friends, family, a legal professional, and your realtor about the situation to help you make the best choice for you.
Refrain from Completing Plumbing Repairs Yourself
The best-case scenario is the seller made a mistake and is willing to take care of plumbing issues. However, if it’s determined that plumbing repairs fall on you after purchasing a home, the worst (and most hazardous) thing you can do is try to perform DIY plumbing repairs. While there are many easy plumbing issues you can fix yourself, like installing new fixtures or replacing caulking material around toilets, some plumbing issues are better left to the professionals.
DIY repairs that could violate specific plumbing codes include:
- Opening walls to replace pipes
- Replacing multiple feet of piping
- Digging up your lawn to inspect sewer lines
- Repairing gas lines yourself
If you decide on DIY plumbing repairs, they might get you in legal hot water and cost you three times the amount for a South Jersey plumber to redo or undo mistakes, plus address the original problem.
Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey for Reliable Diagnosis & Repairs
Once you’ve cleared the hurdle of verifying who’s responsible for plumbing issues discovered after buying your home, it’s time to contact a reliable plumber for assistance. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey offers free estimates to help you financially plan for the cost of addressing plumbing issues after a detailed assessment.
Our dedicated South Jersey plumbers offer flat-rate pricing, no overtime charges, and various commercial and residential plumbing services that fit your needs.
Call (856) 336-5882, so we can help you resolve any plumbing issues after buying your new home.