Hidden asbestos. What would you do?
I closed on an older home in the country a little less than two months ago. Since it's an old house, I had it inspected by someone who specializes in older homes, and in my opinion he did a thorough job and provided a detailed report. The home has aluminum siding, and there was one spot at the front of the house where the siding is somewhat loose and could be looked under without doing damage to the siding, so the home inspector looked under that spot and said that there are clapboards under the aluminum, which I was very happy about because I planned on removing the aluminum once the house was mine.
Well, after the closing I had a contractor come by, and he took a section of the aluminum off the side of the house, and under that was asbestos shingles. So we went all around the house checking on various sections, and everywhere else there seems to be asbestos shingles, except for that one spot in the front. Needless to say, I was very upset. I tried to go into this purchase knowing as much as possible about what the house needed, and the asbestos was a huge suprise. A few days later, I was inspecting the section of the house that apparently was without the asbestos and it seemed that someone went to a lot of trouble to make the home appear as if there was only clapboard under the aluminum. The house is a center-entrance eyebrow colonial, and on each side of the entry door is a door-height shutter. Now on the side where the asbestos was presumably removed, the shutter looks like it had been taken off (which someone would have to do to get at the asbestos under the aluminum) and replaced with only a couple of nails, whereas the shutter on the other side of the door is tightly bolted down. My contractor has not begun to remove the aluminum siding yet, so I don't know what other evidence will be revealed once the aluminum is off. I am planning to take lots of photos to document this, and what's under the siding.
The presence of asbestos would have definitely influenced my decision about buying the house. I know that home sellers in Massachusetts are not obligated to disclose facts about a house unless they are specifically asked, but the evidence seems to indicate that "someone" made a concerted effort to deliberately deceive a potential buyer.
So, if this were your house and you discovered this, would you attempt to pursue this legally with the former owner?