My question involves real estate located in the State of: Texas
The house I purchased was built in 2017.
The seller didn't initially appear shady, was willing to work with some things. For example initially the sprinkler system had a few cut wires. They fixed that. I went with the realtor's recommended inspector and had the house inspected late November. The closing was set right after Christmas. They did give me a repair bill they paid to have the Heat Pump replaced in late December (~$342). Admittedly that should have raised a red flag given it failed and the house is so new but I said okay fine, new Heat Pump.
Fast forward about 2 months later. Last night I noticed my thermostat failed to climb over 70* when I had it set for 75*. I turned it off and on, no avail. I knew it was cold but we had pretty cold nights before and it had no problem. Later on the temperature dropped into the high 60's while the temp was still set to 75*... it didn't get 'freezing' but it was it was much cooler than it should have been.
I took heed to the receipt thinking maybe it was the Heat Pump failing again and that the HVAC contractor may need to have another look given the previous repair was less than 3 months ago when the seller was still in possession of the house.
Well during the course of interacting with the HVAC company, I come to find that there were numerous attempts (many more than the single receipt that the seller provided me) during the course of only a few months to service the HVAC, many due to shorted wires, fuses and relays blowing and eventually the heat pump. The HVAC company eventually ruled out that the ventilation system on the house was faulty and causing the system to short. During the course, they had to replace:
-- The main circuit board
-- Several breakers / fuses
-- Heat pump
The ventilation system is not the liability of the HVAC system but the builder of the home. Supposedly the warranty of the home expired and the only thing currently covered is the foundation, thus the seller didn't get the ventilation system fixed. Instead he disconnected before the inspection which the HVAC company verified because they determined it was the root cause of the shorts but left it connected, then later the heat pump failed after the inspection and they also found the ventilation system disconnected which they themselves did not do. The inspector also did not note on the inspection report that the system was disconnected, nor did the seller note that he was having problems with it on the seller's disclosure.
Although the ventilation system remains to this date to be disconnected from the system, the initial surge is what is suspected to have caused the HVAC system so many problems and is suspected to have drastically reduced its lifespan. Knowing something like this, I definitely would have considered other options before purchasing, and it sounds like the seller was not only fully aware of the problem but rigged it to pass home inspection.
I chose to hold off on repairing the HVAC because I dont want to throw money away at a system that may continue to fail prematurely...
meanwhile, do I have any recourse? I don't know Texas law on disclosure on condition of the home and I also know Texas is an as - is state but this still seems very shady.
My main issue isn't the HVAC but that the seller chose to hide it and not disclose it and also the inspector also somehow missed that the ventilation system was disconnected from the HVAC.
These are the comments on the repair orders. I most of this was happening during the purchasing process, I only came to know about one of them during the process, the rest of them I found out today.
11/28/19Red wire on heat pump was shorted and causing 3 amp fuse to pop. Replaced wire and system would come on in heat pump mode for few mins then pop 3 amp fuse. No
visible damage to wires. Not seeing any burnt marks on defrost board. After replacing fuse system is popping fuse as soon as heat pump starts. Disconnect heat pump
wiring and let system run in emergency heat. Will need to return to look further into system to find the short(s)..
11/29/19Customer had a short killing 3 amp fuse, found out customer disconnected his home Honeywell ventilation system, had an inspection 2 days ago a,d hooked it back up,
found ventilation system causing a short, disconnected ventilation system, rewired system as a 2 heat 1 cool, tested system, system ran with out blowing fuse, system is
heating properly at this time
12/3/19Fuse popped again. Narrowed the short down to the defrost control board. Tested Contactor and reversing valve. Both working normal. Need to replace defrost control.
Will follow up Monday on pry availability.
1/1/20 (right before closing)Replaced defrost control board. 14HPX-036-230-21. 1917F22473. Part under warranty. Replaced contactor as well. System is back online and working normal.
Now here is the other issue, the dates of these repair visits per invoice all align about a week AFTER the inspection, even on the 11/28 - the inpsection was performed 11/19...so I'm not sure if the invoices was created late or if he meant he had the ventilation system disconnected for 2 days while they did the inspection. The inspector is of course denying any liability.Customer has had issues with the control fuse blowing in heat mode. I tested the system in heat an in defrost and wasn’t able to replicate the issue. The fuse did not blow
while testing the system. Today’s visit is covered under warranty and there will be no charge to the customer