Oakland County says 'dream home' must be torn down - and owner pays

- A Farmington Hills couple's dream home is turning into a nightmare. They are being told to tear down the expensive house because of what's lurking underneath it.

Oakland County wants to tear down this 4,600 square-foot house at the owners' expense because of a looming disaster underneath it.

"So the builder built over this thing, built the house right on top of a manhole, had to cap it, pour cement," said Craig Covey.

Covey from the water resource commissioner's office is referring to previous home owner and builder, and says that manhole is now leaking causing eroding the soil around the sewer line. That could interrupt sewer service for thousands of homes and create a sinkhole just like the one in Fraser.

"When you have this leakage that deteriorates the soil and could lead to the whole house collapsing," Covey said.

"Thus far it is only an allegation there are any leak in the sewers we don't know that to be the case," said Joseph Bernardi, one of the homeowners' attorneys.

But the homeowners' lawyers say their clients should not be on the hook for other people's mistakes - not just the owner, who built this beauty of a house over a sewer, but also the city and county that signed off on it.

"This home was inspected numerous times, the final certificate of occupancy was issued, Mr. and Mrs. Dillon purchased it five years later," said Matthew Walker, an attorney for the homeowners.

"These folks paid their title insurance and the title company should have researched this and found out this was going on," Covey said.

There's plenty of blame to go around. The only ones blameless in it all are the people with the most at stake.

"As you can tell it's not an easy task to ask somebody to move their kids, move their possessions, tear down the home and actually pay to tear down the home," said Bernardi.

"We have sympathy for the family," Covey said. "The family needs to take legal action against the folks that gave them clear title and the title company should buy them a new home."

Oakland County sued the homeowners to tear the house down, but the family is fighting back with a countersuit.

No comment from Flagstar bank who the family purchased the home from as a foreclosure. Both sides will be in court next week.
 


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