Repairs that were not fixed after all

16 Replies

I worked on my rental unit today and had a crew come through the property to check some things out. The plumber quickly figured out why I didn't have hot water. The seller had turned it off because the water heater was leaking CO. When the plumber asked me about it I said I'd thought everything had been repaired as there were no issues after the second inspection was performed on the home. However, I'm being told the heaters wouldn't even pass county code due to their condition and it'd be best to call my lawyer because it should be fixed by the seller. I don't know what to do because the water heaters are older but I was made to believe that I'd be able to get at least another 2 or 3 years out of them. Should I just forget about making a fuss and have the faulty water heater's leak repaired so that I can get another year or so out of it? Or go ahead and replace it now? The tenants are going to need hot water.

I don’t know how an inspector misses hot water but….if this is your biggest problem I’d spend the $1,000 or less and replace it. You could try small claims court but…you’re going to prove this?

GL either way. 

"I'm being told the heaters wouldn't even pass county code due to their condition and it'd be best to call my lawyer"

Who is telling you this?  

What did the seller say in their disclosures?

If they are faulty, I would just fix them.  The drama, time and expense of trying to prove and then collect from a seller is more then the cost of the heaters.  It will cost you more money to pursue this than you can win/collect.

Also, what did your inspector say during the presale inspection?  

Replace, move on, next time you purchase get a plumber as well to inspect during inspection day. General inspectors often don't give good detail and basically only pass/fail systems. Once these systems are old it's just a matter of time so its not that surprising, or worth calling a lawyer. Check out tankless as a replacement while you are at it the efficiency is way better.

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Just replace it and be done with it. Don't use that inspector again. 

That's what I said but they told me to reach out to my lawyer to see if I had any recourse so I have. We'll see.

Nathan, I want to thank you for responding to my questions. I'm always on the lookout for your responses on posts because you're the real deal. Top contributor for sure!
Originally posted by @Zambricki Li :

Replace, move on, next time you purchase get a plumber as well to inspect during inspection day. General inspectors often don't give good detail and basically only pass/fail systems. Once these systems are old it's just a matter of time so its not that surprising, or worth calling a lawyer. Check out tankless as a replacement while you are at it the efficiency is way better.

Agreed, I'm not sure why I was told to reach out to my lawyer. They felt it couldn't hurt to ask. I knew going into this I would be replacing them just not so soon. The plan was to replace in 2 to 3 years at max. My lawyer is advising me to sue. That's the last thing I want to get involved in tbh.

"The plan was to replace in 2 to 3 years at max. My lawyer is advising me to sue."

Replace it now. It'll go out when it is least convenient...they always do. And lawyers always want to sue...that's what they do....

I would immediately get a new water heater and move on in that area.

While that is going on, look carefully at what was put in writing after your first inspection.  Did it say that there was a problem with the hot water heater and did you ask for it to be fixed?  If you did not ask for it to be fixed, move on, you are done with the issue.  

However, if you asked for it to be fixed and they said it was fixed, I would go back to YOUR relator and tell her/him that it was not fixed and you want to be made whole.  Ask for the cost of the new heater, but be happy with half or so.  The realtor's may go to the seller, especially with the heater being turned off when nothing was disclosed about it not working.  Or they may cover it themselves or with broker's insurance.  Does not hurt to ask.

But attorney, nope, too expensive for the heater cost.

In college my business law professor let us know the first rule of law is simple, sue everyone so it's not surprising that that is their suggestion.  As far as repair vs. replace as others have said just replace it.  A big part of the cost of the plumber is getting them to show up and I would rather spend the money to do it right vs. constant problems.  When this patched up heater goes out it is going to be a Friday night in the winter and your tenants are going to need it fixed asap.  Avoid this and just do the right thing.  If it was in your agreement that it would be fixed maybe reach out to the agent to see why this did not happen and maybe you can be compensated but I doubt it.  1k is not worth a lot of time to chase, especially when you knew you were spending it soon anyway.  

Originally posted by @Carl W. :
Originally posted by @Nathan G.:

Just replace it and be done with it. Don't use that inspector again. 

That's what I said but they told me to reach out to my lawyer to see if I had any recourse so I have. We'll see.

Nathan, I want to thank you for responding to my questions. I'm always on the lookout for your responses on posts because you're the real deal. Top contributor for sure!

The lawyer fee could very easily cost more than replacing the hot water heater.