Homeowner complains of hidden defects

Ann Knef May 11, 2006, 2:55am

1691 Straube Ln. in Brighton

Brad Johnson, the new owner of 1691 Straube Ln. in Brighton, is suing the former owners claiming the property had latent, material defects.

According to a lawsuit filed May 9 in Madison County Circuit Court, Johnson claims that former owners Matthew and Melissas Tungett breached a contract by not disclosing numerous problems.

"The property contained...the complete lack of a sewer or septic system, rotten support beams and floor joists, mold infestation in multiple areas of the house and the existence of an old roof underneath the visible roof also riddled with mold," the complaint states.

Johnson is represented by Kevin F. Blaine of Schrempf, Blaine, Kelly & Darr in Alton. He is seeking in excess of $50,000 and costs of the suit.

He entered into a real estate contract with the Tungetts on May 17, 2005.

The complaint claims the Tungetts violated Residential Real Estate Disclosure Act on Feb. 11, 2005, by indicating the property had no material defects.

But according to Johnson, the Tungetts received a report from a building inspector on April 28, 2005, pointing out numerous defects.

Johnson claims the Tungetts withheld that report.

"On June 1, 2005, Defendants presented to Plaintiff the Feb. 11, 2005, disclosure statement and withheld the April 28, 2005, inspector's report in a deliberate attempt to mislead the Plaintiff and to conceal material defects in the property from the Plaintiff," the complaint states. "Instead, the Defendant's prepared a 29 item repair punch list which they represented to the Plaintiff covered all known minor repair issues."

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