New owner must pay old owner’s damage

A new flat owner has had to pay damages to an upstairs neighbour for work done by the previous owner after a court judgment from the Cour de Cassation.

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The previous owner had taken down partition walls, causing the floor upstairs to sink. The neighbour sued the owner to get the damage put right and compensation.

In his defence, the new owner said he was not the source of the problem and the neighbour should be suing the previous owner over the work.

The appeal court, however, did not agree as he had signed the acte de vente sales papers which specified work had been done and that the upstairs floor had subsided showing he knew about the problem, and should take it over personally.

If the purchaser had not known of the problem before the sale he would have had a claim against the seller and would have been able to sue over a vice caché hidden defect in the property on purchase.