Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sellers Disclosures - Could this have been provided

Reported by: Matt Gephardt
Tuesday, July 05 2011
The red cliffs of Ivins, Utah is the place Dayna and Kent Birrell want to spend the rest of their days, they just need a house.

"We'd been looking in the area for about a year," Kent says.

Then, in January 2010, they found what looked like the perfect home on the internet. Dayna and Kent were living in Mexico, so they say they called the selling agent, Randee Taylor.

They say Taylor told them there were no known problems in the home.

"We put an offer in and they accepted it," Dayna says.

The Birrells arrived at their new home a few months later, in march of 2010. But, quickly, they got a surprise visit.

"three days later, the previous buyer came by and said 'did you know that this house has roof leaks and mold issues?'" Dayna says.

That previous buyer: Tiauna Simkins. She and her husband planned to buy the same house just a few months earlier but during an inspection, they made a disturbing discovery: mold in multiple rooms. Simkin's inspector reported, "visible mold" all over the place; some caused by a leaky roof and some caused by plumbing problems.

Tiauna and her husband walked away from the home and they say gave a copy of their inspection report to selling agent Randee Taylor.

But, months later, none of the leaks or mold issues are mentioned in the "Seller's Property Condition Disclosure" that Taylor gave to Dayna and Kent.

So, armed with this new information, the Birrells called in their own expert, veteran mold cleaner, Paul Brennan.

Brennen's equipment showed the walls were saturated and lab tests on the mold gave a grim report.

"We found stachy, the worst kind of mold," Brennen says.

That began a lengthy and expensive remediation process for the Birrells, as Brennen cleansed the mold from the house.

Dayna says it's cost about $90,000.

The Birrells paid a visit to Randee Taylors E.R.A. office in St. George. The broker of the office is Thayne Houston, one of the five commissioners for the Utah State Division of Real Estate.

"We explained what we had run into," Kent says. "We explained to them that we know, have proof, that they had knowledge of the previous mold issues."

Dayna and Kent say they asked for the mold to be cleaned up from their home.

"That's all that we asked of them," Dayna says, "Fix the problem and we'll be happy."

But the Birrells say their request was not met. And they have not talked to either Randee Taylor or Thayne Houston since then.

"The last word when we left his office were we will get back with you and make it right," Kent says. "That was over a year ago."

2News spoke to both Randee Taylor and Thayne Houston on the phone. Both refused an interview or to even talk about the Birrell's home saying the case is now in litigation and they cannot comment.

Kent and Dayna say their attorneys are now dealing with the realtor's insurance company. They're trying to recover the money spent to rid their home of mold... And fix all of the damage.

Concerned about mold in your home? Watch this extended interview video with mold expert Paul Brennan of - CLICK HERE

(Copyright 2011 - Four Points Media)

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