Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, February 21, 2020

Bethalto homeowners sue over alleged failure to disclose defects

By Andrea Dearden | Dec 12, 2013


A Madison County couple is accused of selling their Bethalto home without disclosing its known defects.

Jennifer Davies filed a lawsuit Nov. 27 in Madison County Circuit Court against David A. and Doris J. Lading Stephens, ReMax Alliance and Advanced Home Inspection LLC.

According to the complaint, the Stephenses agreed to sell their home on the 100 block of South Kingdom Street to Davies in November 2012. They accepted Davies' offer of $112,000 and provided a property disclosure report to Davies which required them to list any material defects they were aware of on the property.

In that report, the Stephenses allegedly detailed prior flooding issues in the basement from a leaky window well but they claimed the problem was fixed. They told Davies there hadn't been any leaking in the previous three years. That was the only defect listed, according to the homebuyer.

However, after taking possession of the property Davies alleges the leaking and flooding issues in the basement continued. Davies also claims the furnace ran continuously and the fan bearings on the air conditioning unit had seized up before she even used it once.

Davies accuses the Stephenses of knowingly misleading her about the home's defects, a violation of Illinois' Real Property Disclosure Act. She is also suing them for fraud and negligent misrepresentation. ReMax, the selling agent, and Advanced Home Inspection, hired to inspect the home for problems, are both accused of negligence.

Davies seeks a judgment of more than $400,000 for costs of repairs, loss of property value and court fees.

She is represented by attorney Joseph N. Reames of Wood River.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-2011

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