Buyers learn of flood problem too late

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DEAR BENNY: We bought a house (built in 1965) on Dec. 18, 2006. Six days later, heavy rains flooded a storage-room area on the lower level. We called the real estate agent who claimed that the prior owners had no knowledge of any water problems and suggested we call a handyman, who came over and did some work. The room has continued to flood whenever there is a heavy rain. Now that we are very aware of the problem, there is evidence that the prior owners also knew, but did not disclose it. Is it possible to bring legal action now or is there a statute of limitations on this type of thing? Also, how difficult would it be to prove the prior owners knew? --Nancy DEAR NANCY: Every state has what is known as a "statute of limitations," which means that after the statutory period of time, you can no longer file a lawsuit. In some states (such as in the District of Columbia where I practice law) it is three years; it will vary from state to state. You should check with a...