I purchased my home in May of 2017. The seller was a real estate agent who had flipped the home. He marketed the home as a "remodel" and that it had a "new bathroom" referring to the basement bathroom at issue. I had the home inspected, and while many things came up which were addressed and negotiated, the basement bathroom plumbing was missed on the inspection and never came up.
After closing in May, I moved in the first week of July. I immediately noticed a smell coming from my basement bathroom. I assumed it was a dry p-trap and that some water just needed to be ran. I did so. Multiple times. Days go by, smell does not go away. I finally unscrew the drain cover and find that my PVC shower flange leads to a gap and then into a cast iron p-trap designed for a floor drain, not a shower. Long story short, the contractor (seller/owner's business partner) added this shower on top of an existing floor drain and installed a "fake" shower drain which emptied directly into the old floor drain. The old floor drain is now emitting sewer gas from a dislodged or rotten cleaning plug which can only be repaired by tearing up the shower and much of the bathroom floor tile and completely replumbed. I've had it inspected by a licensed plumber and quoted at around $5,000.
Here's the kicker: I signed a waiver under MN Law 513.60 which waives the sellers duty to disclose. It does not prevent, however, fraud or "negligent misrepresentation" pursuant to 513.57 S3. Do I have any hope against this flipper? I've already been in contact with him through my buyer's RE agent and he basically denies liability.
Another question: The plumber I had inspect the issue made clear that the work could not have been permitted because it didn't come close to meeting code (lacked a vent and other obvious problems). Is there a government remedy for unpermitted work? Especially by a non-resident owner looking to sell the home? Does that give me leverage of any sort?
Finally, on the off chance my inspector has error and omission insurance, do I have a claim against him? I did not sign a pre-inspection contract, and I paid $550 for the inspection. The plumber I had inspect the issue said the lack of code meeting was absolutely obvious from the unfinished part of the basement where the bathroom wall is open from the rear. Vented sink, vented toilet, no vent for the shower, and that should have thrown up red flags to the inspector.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I realize I may be stuck paying for another "remodel." Just trying to see if I have any options. Thanks in advance.
Quick note: I am a personal injury attorney in Tennessee. I know enough about property law to have passed the TN bar, and I know enough MN law to fit in a thimble.
TL;DR – Flipper sold me a house with unpermitted plumbing work that is now causing a major problem in the basement bathroom. I waived the seller's disclosure requirement (somehow and stupidly), and now I'm wondering if I have a claim against the seller or the inspector who negligently missed the "obvious" code violations from the shower.
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