What happens if you discover water flowing below the floor in a newly-purchased house and you have to completely gut the basement to remove toxic mould? Who is responsible?
That was the problem facing Eric Brown and his mother, Louise, after they bought a house on MacHenry St. in Forest, Ont., from Gary and Kim Cassidy in October 2011.
During his first inspection of the house, Eric asked Gary if he had ever had any water problems in the basement and was told “no.” Gary later told Eric that there had been a water problem in the basement in 2002, but it had been fixed.
The Browns decided not to have a home inspection because the male buyer and seller were both members of the Freemason's fraternity and “could trust each other.”
Although it was important to the Browns that the property had not had any water problems, the offer which was drawn up by their lawyer made no mention of that issue.
After closing, the Browns hired a carpenter to paint the house and do basement repairs. The carpenter discovered that the basement carpet was wet. Water was flowing under the floor, the floor strapping was completely black with mould, and there was no vapour barrier between the concrete and the strapping.