Friday, April 14, 2006

Basement flood damage

I read a good piece recently regarding checking for flood damage in the basement of homes and also how to avoid them. Obviously we do have the Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (IRRPDA) but an informed Seller can probably wiggle out from it's coverage.

Things to look for:

1. Foundation Cracks. The most common source of basement seepage is cracks in poured concrete foundations. Cracks are visible from the interior and exterior of the foundation's corners and around windows. They generally run diagonally from the top down.

2. Stains and Smells. Stains and smells indicate water problems. Be wary of scented candles exuding warm ambiance, they could be masking musty odors.

3. Sump pump. A basement with no sump pump signals potential water problems.

4. Capped drains or a stand pipe. If a home has capped drains or a stand pipe, it tells you that water flowed into the basement at one time and could be a potential problem in the future.

5. Poor drainage and landscaping. Gutters and downspouts should disperse water a minimum of six feet away from a house foundation. The yard's grade should slope away from the house.

Keep your eyes open for these hints! Also, remember that IRRPDA has a one year statute of limitations, but you can recover attorneys fees from the defendant.


At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one year thing? The "Informed Seller" doesn't do so well when the RDPD is used in a consumer fraud or contract misrepresentation case. The Disclosure Act does not limit or change a purchaser's common-law remedies. See 765 ILCS 77/45 (West 1998); Hirsch v. Feuer, 299 Ill. App. 3d 1076, 1082-84, 702 N.E.2d 265, 270-71 (1998) (reversing trial court's dismissal of breach of contract claim and Disclosure Act claim). Therefore, plaintiff's action was brought within the appropriate statute of limitations. Four years in a fraud case, I recall,and a 10-year statute of limitations applies on a breach of contract.
A contract is still a contract.



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