by Phoenix attorney Christopher A. Combs, partner with Combs Law Group, P.C.
Question: After owning the home for three months, the seller signed a Contract to sell the home. The seller disclosed in the SPDS that the home was connected to the sewer. The former owner of the home had told the seller that the home was connected to the sewer, and the seller has paid sewer bills from the city. During the inspection period the buyer did not inspect to confirm the connection to sewer. After the close of escrow, the buyer learns that the home is not connected to the sewer. Is the seller liable to the buyer for the cost to connect the home to the sewer?
Answer: Probably not. Inasmuch as the seller relied on the former owner’s representation regarding the sewer connection and paid sewer bills from the city, the seller had no reason to know that the home was not connected to sewer. Therefore, the seller was entitled to state in the SPDS that, to the best of the seller’s knowledge, the home was connected to sewer. Note: In the SPDS the buyer is specifically instructed in bold print to contact a professional to conduct a sewer verification test.