Damages by moisture (microbe damages) in detached houses and disputes concerning them

Unfortunately, it often happens that a property is purchased and the building is not inspected thoroughly enough before the deal. The condition check can even be omitted completely. In any case, the usual estate or property inspection is superficial. Defects in the structures will often stay hidden.

It is also common for the parties of the trade not to pay enough attention to the observations made in the condition inspection report, and not to investigate further, for example, risk structures.

Thorough investigations will only take place when the new owner gets symptoms because of the microbe damages in the building. There will be doubts about microbial damage and structures that reveal problems. At this point, the buyer wishes he would have been more thoroughgoing before the deal and wants to cancel the whole transaction. This will not, however, be possible unless the seller agrees or there is a court order to cancel the deal. Cancelling requires the defect to be substantial. The primary consequence of a defect is a price reduction corresponding with the extent of the defect.

A big practical problem with real estate transactions is to clear up the defects. Buyers cannot solve the matter by themselves, but need a construction expert who is conducting inspections in the house and taking the necessary material samples. The buyer has a burden of proof, i.e. the buyer must be able to prove in possible court proceedings the existence of a defect. Inspections usually cost thousands of euros.

In addition to a skilled construction inspector, a lawyer will be required to assist in making a complaint and in court.

In addition to cost, the duration of the process must be taken into account. If the matter cannot be settled, court proceedings generally take more than a year or two in the district court. After that you will have a judgment of the district court, which is possible to appeal to the Court of Appeal. If you win the case, it will be taken to enforcement. The buyer must be able to live so-called “normal everyday life” throughout the trial. If a family’s home is uninhabitable due to damage, you must have a replacement home. This results in costs that cannot even be charged from the seller, unless the seller has been negligent. If this is a latent defect, i.e. the seller did not know about it before the deal, the costs of the replacement housing are unfortunately borne by the buyer.

If the buyer requires cancelling the transaction, the seller’s financial situation should be borne in mind. If the transaction will be cancelled, it means that the property will be returned to the seller for the purchase price. The situation is bad, if the seller has no money left.

Problems can be minimized by examining the estate or house as well as possible before trading. If it is decades old, the risks are usually higher than in a new house. On the other hand, the quality of a new house should not be taken for granted either.

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