DEAR BARRY: When we bought our home, the seller and agent said that it was only 2 years old. They did not disclose that it was built on the slab of an old house that had burned to the ground. The septic system, which is also old, has had problems requiring repair, and we're worried about old pipes that may be installed under the slab. Is anyone responsible for this lack of disclosure? --Vickie DEAR VICKIE: Problems of this kind could be avoided if homebuyers would consult the local building department for a permit history, prior to closing escrow. Unfortunately, most buyers are not given this advice. If the seller of your home knew the history of the house (that it was built on an old foundation and that there was an old septic system), that information should have been disclosed. The same obligation applies to the agent, if the history of the property was known. It is unlikely that the house fire had an adverse effect on the slab or foundation. If the local building departm...
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