Sunday, January 18, 2009


I purchased a home a few months ago in Orange County CA and recently discovered that 2 rooms which are an addition to the house do not have heat. There are vents in each room but not heat comes out. No mention of this was made in the disclosure report or in the inspection report (the inspector checked to see if the furnace worked - he did not check to see if heat came out of the vents in every room.) Our home warranty sent out a repairman who indicated the furnace is too small to force heat to those 2 rooms even though there are vents in there. Since this is an addition he claims they probably never received heat once they were completed, stating a larger furnace is needed for the size of the house in order to heat those rooms, which will cost over $2500. The home warranty co, will not pay for this becasue it is a pre-existing condition. These rooms were added back in the 1980's. The sellers lived in the house so they had to be aware of this problem but did not disclose it. What recourse do I have?

Dawn O'Neal's Answer...
A similar situation happened in Santa Clara County with my clients some years ago. The furnace unit was not covered by the home warranty because the problem was pre-existing. To make a long story short I worked with the listing agent and the seller paid my clients the money to replace the unit with a new one. Since your Sellers had knowledge of this and did not disclose it, I would work with your agent first to see if they can get them to pay for a new furnace, including installation, to make this right. Your Sellers did have the duty to disclose this fact and therefore, if they will not make it right, you may have recourse to take this through small claims court. The limit is now $7,500 in California.
Good Luck!
Dawn O'Neal
Realty World Executive Advantage
San Jose, Ca. (408) 923-7758

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