Frankfort , Kentucky
A home owner's property was acquired by the Commonwealth of Kentucky for highway construction. Rather than demolish their modern house, the owners decided to have the house moved to a new location. They purchased a vacant lot in a stylish subdivision in a nearby Kentucky city. Upon submitting building permits to the city government to allow their old house to be moved onto the newly acquired lot, the owners were denied the permit because the lot had a sink hole on it.
The subdivision was originally developed in the late 1970's. The developer testified that in 1979, he sold several undesirable lots at bargain prices. The lot in question in this case was one of those at it was purchased for $1,750.00. The vacant lot was purchased by the house owners for $25,500 in 1992. Between 1979 and 1992, the lot remained undeveloped.
The city's building ordinance prohibits construction within 50 feet of a sink hole. The subdivision plats filed with the city planning office clearly indicated a sink hole on the lot in question.
The Cause of the Dispute
The new owners of the lot demanded a cancellation of their purchase and demanded their money back from the seller and original lot owner. The purchaser argued that the seller knew or should have known about the defect and should have advised the buyer. The sellers denied having the knowledge of any defect with the property and attested that they purchased the lot simply as an investment, not for their own use. Testimony at deposition included statements that the sellers had used the lot several years earlier as a disposal site for soil and rock taken from new sewer trench work in the subdivision. These materials were used to fill the sink hole.
The case settled one week prior to trial with the sellers agreeing to return the original purchase price to the buyers and regain possession of the lot.
The Client's Attorney
For the lot Buyers:
Mr. Max M. Smith, Attorney At Law
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Copyright 2004 Richard Cheeks