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Contact7 finds sellers passing off problems in hot housing market

Posted at 7:41 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-14 21:41:16-04

AURORA, Colo. — The Dennys of Aurora thought they did everything right when they bought their new home.

"They knew there was mold in the walls," said Renee Denny in tears, "I believe they knew it.  They didn't fix this stuff."

She said they noticed the smell first and started looking for the source.

"We noticed rat poop all over," said Denny pulling back a plastic covering from where their dishwasher used to be.

Denny, a disabled veteran, said they found black mold under the kitchen sink and behind the dishwasher.

"My husband has asthma, I'm having breathing problems because of it," she said.

Denny said the hazard was not revealed by the seller of the home and that the home inspector they hired did not find it.

"As soon as we were done closing, the guy (seller) come running over real quick shaking my husband’s hand all aggressively like, 'Yay we got the house sold,'" Denny said.

That was less than six months ago.

Denny said they have asked their realtor and home inspector to help them and that they do not have the money to fix the costly problem.

"My husband's blind and I'm disabled, and we're just reaching out," she said. 

Jennifer Bachler bought her house from a couple of home flippers less than 2-years ago.

"My ceiling in my entryway caved in," she said.

Bachler said the damage started to show within months of moving in.

The ceilings and the walls started to crumble.

"I'm nervous that eventually, the ceiling is going to cave in," she said. "The new cabinets looked great on the outside, but Bachler said doors started to fall off."

She admits the more she looked, the more she found signs of patching and painting.

The house was made pretty to sell fast, she said, but not much more.

She also said she would need a new, $7,000 roof.

"This house is my dream house, and here I am with all these problems," said Bachler, "It's pretty bad."

The Denny's did the right thing by hiring an inspector they trusted.

But Contact7 uncovered if the inspector fails to find something like mold, which can cost a homeowner thousands in remediation, the inspector has limited liability in Colorado.

The most you can collect in a lawsuit is what you paid for the inspection.

Even if you think a seller should have known about a problem, it is very hard to prove.

Bottom line, regardless of how competitive the housing market is or how pretty a flipped house looks, do not rush a purchase.

Check to be sure any work done to the house was completed by a licensed contractor and passed inspection.

Hire a thorough, top-rated home inspector and even go along on the inspection if you can to be sure everything is inspected.