Home Inspection/roof leak
I bought a house on 10/25/13. On the day of the settlement I looked around the house and my friend working as a independent contractor noticed a sign of a water leak possibly from a roof. Since I did not have any official inspection before, I just notified the seller and the seller said he had not been aware of any roof leak issue. I signed the contract and the seller stayed until 11/22/13 as a part of contract. I moved in the house on 11/23/13 and found water dripping down from a walk-in closet on 11/26/13. I immediately called my real estate broker and the seller has never responded. When the seller stayed for one more month after the contract, he put $1200 to a escrow account in case I find out any issue when I move in for repairs. I already sign a paper to release the security back to the seller before I found the leak. My question is since I did not have any official inspection, the seller is not liable for any water leak?
I think your question, as to your possible recourse, needs to be asked of an attorney in your state. That sort of thing varies from state to state as to what a seller might be concealing and responsible for. If you cannot prove the seller knew there was a leak, then he is probably off the hook I think.
Obviously, you would have been better off having a home inspector find that leak but, if the seller was knowingly concealing it, then you might still have a case of failed disclosure. On the other hand, seller will probably argue that, in a closet, he had no clue. And it might be hard for you to prove that he did know. Some states have much more stringent disclosure requirements than others. If money is an issue, you might be able to find a free legal service to help with this matter since it is pretty basic real estate law but state specific.