The sellers of a house in Cluj-Napoca were ordered by the court to return over 18,500 lei to the buyer. A few months after she bought the house, for which she paid 146,000 euros, the new owner discovered several irregularities. Because the former owners refused to fix them at their own expense, and the buyer considered herself cheated, the woman sued them for “hidden defects”, writes clujust.ro.
The house, located in the Borhanci neighborhood of Cluj-Napoca, was sold in October 2017. The house, of the P+E type and 188.28 sqm built, cost, at that time, 146,000 euros.
A few months after the purchase, the new owner discovered, however, several irregularities: the chimney made for the fireplace was not a chimney, but a ventilation chimney, the plaster began to fall in the area of the balconies, and the electricity was on site.
Because the former owners refused to pay the expenses necessary to fix these problems, in the summer of 2018, the woman sued them for “hidden defects”.
Following the trial, the Cluj-Napoca Court ordered the reduction of the price from the sale-purchase contract of the house by 18,523.41 lei. The sellers contested the court’s decision, but recently, the quoted source writes, the Cluj Court rejected their appeal and upheld the sentence given by the Cluj-Napoca Court.
What are the “hidden defects” invoked in the summons request
“A. The chimney serving the fireplace is made with the wrong type of brick, i.e. brick for a ventilation chimney and not for a smoke chimney. When he discovered this problem, he asked the defendant to replace the brick, but he refused, proposing instead a technically unacceptable and, at the same time, extremely dangerous solution: inserting a metal tube through the chimney. Later, the plaintiff turned to specialists to remedy this defect, who informed her that replacing the bricks with suitable ones does not solve the problem of the chimney since it comes into contact with the ceiling between the ground floor of the house and the first floor, a ceiling that also incorporates the underfloor heating system, so the only viable solution is to change the route of the chimney, as well as, obviously, to replace the brick. As for the constructive solution chosen by the defendants regarding the chimney, namely the materials from which it is built and its route, the plaintiff could not know without specialist assistance that it represents a real and imminent danger of causing the construction to catch fire in case of use. Fortunately, he discovered this before the winter of 2017/2018 and did not use that chimney. The estimated costs of this work to change the route of the chimney and restore it accordingly are 12,151 lei (VAT included).
B. The plastering of the building must be redone because after the first winter since the purchase of the property (2017/2018), the plaster started to fall from the area of the balconies, meaning that for its restoration in the area of the west balcony, a remedial cost of 769 .93 RON. It emphasizes in context that the manifestation of the hidden defects of the plaster during the winter of 2017/2018 was favored, as will result from the following, also by the lack of glazing bars in the area of the balconies, the construction not being provided with such protection systems.
C. Since the flashings are a mandatory component of the water-repellent protection system of the building, protecting its plaster, and the building purchased from the defendants was not equipped with flashings, in order to recover the additional degradation of the plaster, the plaintiff bore the cost of purchasing and installing these flashings. He mentions that he did not know the importance of these elements at the time of buying the building, not even noticing their absence because he does not have specialized knowledge. After the plaster of the building started to fall, he called for specialist help, being instructed, in addition to restoring the plaster, to install the flashings. Total cost: 2,505.63 RON (VAT included).
D. Trying to conclude the contract for the supply of electricity in his name, he discovered that the electricity was supplied to the building through the connection for the organization of the construction site, and switching to the connection in the final solution required the reconnection of the connection. Total cost: 3,282.97 RON (VAT included).
It underlines in the context that as long as the report of the reception of the work was signed by the authorized persons without reservations, the house was registered in the land register with the title of construction in the name of the defendants, and the electricity supply contract was concluded previously on behalf of the defendants, the plaintiff had no objective possibility of knowing/discovering prior to the purchase of the building that the electricity connection was for the construction of the construction site, not having been put into a final solution as was natural.
“For all the preceding considerations, the court will partially admit the request and based on art. 1.707 and art. 1.710 para. (1) letter c) Civil Code, it will order the reduction of the price stipulated in the sale-purchase contract authenticated under no. *** corresponding to the obligation of the defendants to guarantee against defects in the amount of 18,523.41 lei, will oblige the defendants to return the amount of 18,523.41 lei in favor of the plaintiff and will reject the request for the rest as unfounded”, it is stated in the reasoning of the court of judgment.
Editor: Izabela Zaharia