Cat Hoarding Lands Seller and Realtors in Court

(CN) — In a six-figure demand, a man who bought a suburban Phoenix home to remodel and flip it says he’s stuck with it now because the sellers didn’t disclose that it had been the scene of a notorious incident of cat hoarding, “far worse than any homicide scene.”

According to Ehsan Amani’s lawsuit in Maricopa County Court, the woman who sold him the home in Fountain Hills had been arrested in 2014 and booked on multiple counts of animal cruelty, for keeping at least 50 cats inside the house.

“At that time, an animal crime deputy described the interior of the property as unlike anything he had ever seen,” Amani says in the June 7 complaint. He cites a sheriff officer’s report: “The stench from the cat urine and feces was so unbearable we considered calling a haz-mat team to clear the area. It was far worse than any homicide scene I have investigated. When we walked through the house, we were walking through literally two feet of feces.”

Amani and his Pure Construction company sued Sharon Weber, the seller and alleged cat hoarder, and Realty One Group and three of its Realtors or agents.

Amani says he closed on the home on Dec. 9, 2016, and paid $285,000 for it. None of the defendants, however, disclosed the cat hoarding arrest, or the 50 cats, or the “unquantifiable amounts of urine and feces being within the property,” he says in the complaint.

After completely remodeling the house, he put it on the market for $590,000, through Realty One, Amani says. But in March this year, he says, a prospective turned up his nose at it “upon finding out that the property it had been the subject of a cat hoarding incident.”

That was the first time he heard about cat hoarding, Amani says.

He seeks compensation and damages for fraud, consumer fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of faith, and breach of fiduciary duty.

He is represented by David Gaona, in Phoenix.

Fountain Hills, pop. 24,000, is a wealthy suburb east of Phoenix and north of Scottsdale. Its median household income of $75,670 in 2014 was 47 percent higher than the statewide median of $51,492. The median value of a house or condo that year was $422,434, more than twice the statewide median of $194,300, according to city-data.com.

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