problems after closing
Hello all. I'm a new member to this site, but I've been lurking for awhile.
Two weeks ago today I closed on a home in a small town in the country. The house is old, but it's perfect for me. I love old homes and know they can come with a lot of problems so I got a home inspector that specializes in old houses, and am satisfied with his report. I really wanted to go into this transaction knowing as much as I could about what needed to be fixed and how much it would cost.
One of the terms stated in the P&S agreement was that the seller was to deliver a septic system that passed the Title V inspection. (The house is in Massachusetts.) Well, the inspection came back with a conditional pass because the sink in the basement wasn't hooked up to the septic system. The work was supposedly done by a local plumber who was hired by the sellers' realtor, and the documentation saying that the system passed was sent to my lawyer, who I emailed twice asking him to verify that the system passed unconditionally. In one of the emails I asked him to send me a copy, but he never did. However, both responses from him stated that the Title V was clear.
On the day of the closing, there were numerous issues, including an old propane stove that should have been removed but wasn't until the last minute. A few days prior to the closing I had also noticed that in the back part of the property, a black pipe surrounded by brown odorless liquid had emerged. I pointed it out to my realtor who thought it might be from the drainage pipe in the floor of the basement, and I also described it and my concern about what it was to my lawyer.
Anyway, at the closing, my lawyer handed me a packet of papers, including the deed, the plot lines, and the Title V etc. Needless to say, there was a lot going on. A few days later, I happened to look over the papers I was given, and it turns out that the septic still has a conditional pass!
I emailed my lawyer and asked him what's going on? He tried to tell me that the plumber's itemized bill was sufficient indication that the septic passed unconditionally. But I knew better. I called the person who did the initial inspection who told me that the board of health agent for my town needed to issue a certificate of compliance. So I called him and he said he would notify town hall, and I needed to stop by with the itemized plumber's bill describing what work was done and I'd get the certificate. But when I called town hall to tell them I was stopping by, I was told that they could not issue a certificate because the plumber did not get a plumbing permit, which requires that the town's plumbing inspector come out to make sure the work was done properly. Meanwhile the pipe in the back is oozing more brown sludge that has now developed an unpleasant odor.
I emailed my lawyer, asking him to respond immediately, letting me know that he's taking care of this mess. That was on Friday, and I haven't heard from him since then. I've approached three other lawyers, in an attempt to get this resolved. One, who is not in the immediate area, asked me to send him all the info, which I have done, and I haven't heard from him at all. Another lawyer said he didn't want to go up against another lawyer in the area, since it's such a "small bar associate," but he did refer me to other lawyers who are not in the immediate area. I spoke with one, who said that she thought my lawyer sounded like he was really busy and didn't have time to respond, and besides, she gets $300 an hour, and do I really want to spend that much money on this?
So what should I do? I'm so sad, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I love the house, but this situation is making me sick.