Views / Toronto / Legal Matters

Buyer beware: Leaky basements a common problem in Canadian homes

Any leaking prior to the closing is the responsibility of the vendor.

Istock

Q: We are set to close our first house this week and when we went to inspect the property on the weekend, we found a puddle on the floor near the wall. Previously our home inspector had tested the walls with a moisture instrument and they were dry. We think this may be seeping up through the concrete floor. What should we do?

A: The logical option is to holdback funds from the purchase to protect your position in case remedial work is necessary.

Any leaking prior to the closing is the responsibility of the vendor.

However, in speaking with this reader they indicated that the house was power of sale and that there were just enough proceeds to pay back the debtors; with very little to spare.

A holdback worthy of potential foundation work could easily be $20,000, which would effectively scuttle the deal.

The readers really wanted the house so the option to holdback was set aside and the purchasers closed under protest, thereby protecting their rights after closing to pursue the vendor for this problem.

Leaky basements are probably one of the most common problems in Canadian cities where a large swath of homes can be pushing over 100 years old. Caution is extremely important in these circumstances.

More on Metronews.ca