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Homeowners Feeling Trapped After Sellers Failed To Disclose Neighbor's Bizarre, Profane Behavior

YUBA CITY (CBS13) — A Yuba City family says the sellers did not disclose the neighbor has a history of harassment.

Now feeling stuck in their new home, they thought it was time to do something and called Kurtis Ming.

It has not been "home, sweet home" since Cari Stewart and her family moved two months ago. Right away, she says the neighbor started harassing them, he was flipping them off, squealing his tires in the driveway, and cussing them out with bizarre accusations.

"It went from 'I'm selling crack out of the house,' to 'I'm harassing his 85-year old mother every day,'" Stewart said. "I've never met the lady."

Her husband recorded some of the foul-mouthed encounters. Other neighbors say the behavior dates back to well before the Stewarts arrived, Stewart says. Police logs show dozens of calls to the man's address since 1995.

"Your kids should not have to hear that," she said. "Somebody should have told us."

But Stewart says the seller and real estate agents said nothing.

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"If we knew the severity of it, I don't think we would've bought this house," she said.

"When you fail to disclose, it will always come back to haunt you," said  Sacramento Real Estate Attorney Mitch Abdallah.

Abdallah says a seller should disclose any nuisance, including a neighbor's obnoxious behavior, late-night basketball games, or all-night parties. He says you also need to disclose if someone died in the house, if it was a drug house, or it smells bad.

"Those types of activities will tend to reduce the value of the home, although, you would have to prove the loss of value in court, which can be a challenge," he said.

Stewart feels stuck. With a new mortgage, there is no extra money to pay legal costs for a restraining order, to buy security cameras, or to even build a fence.

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"There's got to be something that can protect us from him," she said.

In this case, RE/MAX Gold agents represented the buyer and seller. Stewart said when she complained to them about not being told about the neighbor, she was told to hire an attorney.

"They helped us get into this house, but now it just feels like we were just a dollar sign," she said.

We reached out to RE/MAX Gold to find out what they knew, and why the information about the neighbor wasn't disclosed.

The company responded, "This is a private transaction. RE/MAX Gold and Ms. Stewart are working together to resolve her complaints."

After we got involved, Stewart says RE/MAX Gold reached out and agreed to give her some money to help secure her home. She hopes it leads to a sense of peace for her family in their new neighborhood.

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