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North Royalton couples home purchase tarnished by county records error

Posted at 11:31 PM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-03 16:15:17-05

Troy and Heather Service thought they bought the right home, on Ridge Road in North Royalton, but found out a month later the home carried a septic system surprise.

According to Cuyahoga County records the home was hooked up to the city sewer system, their real estate agent also had the home listed as having city sewer.

Troy Service told News 5 his home inspector didn't catch the error either, and now the couple is stuck with a 30-year-old septic system, that is at the end of its useful life.

Service explained the seller of the home was an executor, and not the owners of the home, so under Ohio law, the seller didn't have to make out a property disclosure statement.

Service said the executor was aware of the septic system, because she completed the annual permit for the system last year, but failed to disclose that to the real estate agents involved with the sale of the home.

Service pointed to the disclaimer on all county property records, which states the information isn't guaranteed, therefore his real estate agent or inspector aren't liable for the mistake.

News 5 spoke with the real estate company which admitted it gets its listing information from the Multiple Listing Service or MLS, and the MLS gets its information from county records.

Heather Service warned home buyers to run careful checks on all important home systems themselves, especially if the seller is an executor.

Service said county records shouldn't be trusted.

"We thought that we had found the perfect home, only to find out a month later, we have a septic system that we had no idea was there," said Service.

"You can't trust anybody.  It seems that we've got an agent who is saying we don't know anything. We have an executor that is basically exempt.  We have a lawyer telling us buyer beware."