Housing | The couple bought a house in a small town, but everything was not as it should be

In the housing dispute, buyers and sellers presented settlement offers on both sides. In the end, they ended up in court, which resulted in big bills for everyone.

From convenience stores the resulting dispute turned out to be expensive for sellers and buyers.

The couple bought the house from Pöytä in the spring of 2020. The purchase price was 150,000 euros.

It was a detached house built in the 1940s and expanded twenty years later. The sellers were not the original residents of the house, but there had been more owners over the years.

Before the trades, the house was inspected. According to the buyers' point of view, based on the inspection, they had only been able to prepare for low-cost actions such as renovating the windows and improving the drainage of rainwater and meltwater.

However, more problems were found.

Settlement offers were presented from both sides, but the matter finally went to the district court of Varsinais-Suomen.

Trading after, according to the buyers, damage, defects and deficiencies were observed in the residential building and the outbuilding. It was said that rot, microbial and moisture damage was found in the structures. According to the buyers, there were problems with, among other things, the lower floor of the house, the outer walls and the intermediate floor.

According to the buyers, the house had an indoor air problem, and it was necessary for them to repair the structures in order to make the building's healthy residential use possible.

The buyers demand a price reduction of 85,000 euros or damages from the sellers in the district court. In addition, they had various claims for compensation, among which was, for example, the rent of the horse's stable.

According to the buyers, the sellers had made repairs to the property, during which various problems should have come to the sellers' attention. According to the buyers, the sellers had neglected their reporting obligations and provided incorrect or misleading information.

According to the buyers, the purchases would not have been made if they had known about the defects and deficiencies. According to the buyers, they could not live in the house due to health problems and they moved to a substitute apartment.

Visible microbial growth behind the new insulation.

The house the sellers, on the other hand, demand in the district court that the buyers' lawsuit be dismissed.

According to the sellers, in the renovations they commissioned, it had not been revealed that there had been any damage to the house's structures. They had, among other things, done a kitchen renovation and replaced the heating radiators. According to the sellers, professionals were used in the renovations.

According to the sellers, only when renewing the front door was the bottom wood of the threshold found to be rotten. According to the sellers, it was a local damage that was repaired.

The sellers pointed out that the condition inspection reports indicated numerous remarks, risks, and recommendations for repairs and further investigations.

The sellers denied that the item had quality defects as claimed by the buyers. According to the sellers, the investigations did not show that the house's structures had alleged widespread moisture and microbial damage or an indoor air problem causing health problems.

According to the sellers, they had not neglected their reporting obligation or given misleading information.

Real Finland the district court concluded that the building could not be assessed to have extensive moisture and microbial damage.

Instead, local microbial damage had been found in the subfloor, exterior walls and structures related to the basement, which must be repaired in such a way that the access of microbes to the indoor air is prevented.

Since the damage was located in the bedroom and kitchen area, the district court considered that the microbes caused at least some degree of health harm.

According to the court, it was not shown in the case that the sellers knew or should have known about moisture and microbial damage, indoor air problems, structural damage or odor, which they failed to tell the buyers about before the sale.

The district court held that the buyers had the right to plead a mistake only with regard to the ground floor of the main part of the house.

The district court ordered the sellers to pay the buyers a price reduction of 6,230 euros, including default interest. In other respects, the buyers' claim was rejected. Both parties were left to pay their own court costs.

A close-up of the microbial flora found in the house.

Mixed both the sellers and the buyers appealed the verdict to the Court of Appeal of Turku.

The sellers demand that the buyers have to compensate their district court costs of more than 35,000 euros, as well as the court of appeals costs. They appealed to the fact that the buyers' claims had mostly been rejected in the district court.

The buyers demand that the price reduction condemned by the district court be increased to more than 7,200 euros. In addition, they demand from the sellers a price reduction of almost 29,000 euros for the damage to the lower parts of the outer walls. The buyers also demand that if the latter claim succeeds, the sellers should be obliged to compensate their court costs of more than 34,000 euros, as well as various research and investigation costs. In addition, the buyers require the sellers to reimburse their legal costs in the Court of Appeal.

In its verdict at the end of March, the Court of Appeal held that the buyers had not lost their right to submit claims for defects in the exterior walls. The Court of Appeal ordered that the sellers must compensate the buyers for the price reduction instead of 6,230 euros, with 18,000 euros including late payment interest.

The buyers, on the other hand, were ordered to compensate the sellers for 20,000 euros of the court costs of the district court, including default interest.

The court costs related to the proceedings at the Court of Appeal remained to be paid by the parties themselves.

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