One problem that strikes terror in the hearts of homeowners is a termite infestation. A single colony can cause devastation because termites can eat and eat and eat the wood that makes up a house. For an owner of a property, a termite attack means huge expenditures for repair. Moreover, a serious infestation often cannot be dealt with using do-it-yourself methods. In such cases, there will be a need for the services of a professional, which is an added cost.
1. Why Do You Need Pre-Purchase Termite Inspection?
Before you go ahead and buy a house, you have to be prudent. A certain property might look just like the dream home that you’ve always wanted, or it might appear too picture perfect from the outside; but inside, it could be rotten. Hence, you must take precautions and examine the house thoroughly. If you don’t know what to look for, there are experts who can do a pre-purchase pest inspection for a fee, and you don’t even have to hire them to take care of any pest problem that they find. There are even architectural firms that offer termite inspection services in order to give property buyers more confidence.
2. What Will Pest Experts Be Looking For?
The major advantage of hiring professionals is that they know what they’re looking for, and they know which areas are more prone to pest invasions. Experts generally provide thorough reports about past and current pest problems, if any. In case they don’t suspect that the property had any pest problems at all, they can also offer advice about preventive measures so that the buyer will know which areas of the property are susceptible to termite attacks.
3. Who Pays for Termite Treatments?
Who will shoulder the expenses for pest control services depends on the agreement between a buyer and seller. For rented rooms, apartments or houses, the party that is financially responsible for pest treatment costs is typically the owner of the property or the lessor. But it’s usually different when it comes to those who buy properties. If you purchase a house and discovered that it is infested with termites, then you are responsible for repairs and treatments. Still, you can sue the individual or company that sold you the property if you were not informed of the real state of the house and lot. Full disclosure is required by law, which means that as a buyer, you have the right to know about current and past pest problems.
4. How Do I Sue a Past Owner or Real Estate Agent for Non-Disclosure?
Before going to court because of termite issues, first check the purchase contract. Here, you’ll find helpful info such as: whether or not the seller knew of the pest problem; or whether or not the buyer had the right to conduct a thorough home inspection, including a termite inspection. If the seller knew of the problem but failed to inform you or concealed the problem from you, then you have a case. A seller can also be sued by a buyer if the former refused to have the property inspected for pests and other problems.
- gflinch. “Steve Jobs childhood home”. July 8, 2010. Online image. Flickr. March 18, 2013.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Claire Brent is a full-time freelancer who regularly writes about household pests. Her articles have been used by Preventive Pest Control and other companies in the same business.