Can I sue the sellers for non-disclosure of termite problem?
We just bought a new home in Weston. Shortly after we moved in, we discovered a termite problem. I found a termite control station in the ground, so the sellers had to know about the problem. So my question is, can I sue the sellers for not disclosing this problem and/or can I sue the home inspector for not finding the problem either? We wouldn’t have bought the house if we had known of the termite problem. What kind of attorney fees would be we looking at and what kind of settlement might we expect?
Assuming that this is a single-family home that served as the seller’s principal residence, in order to hold the seller responsible for non-disclosure of the termite problem, you would have to prove that you actually asked the seller or his/her real estate agent about termites and was told that there wasn’t a problem. A private seller of a single-family home does not have an affirmative obligation to volunteer information about defects in the home. However, if the seller is asked and provides information, he/she must answer completely and truthfully.
The standard is different for making a claim against a home inspector. Claims for negligence may be brought against home inspectors. Sometimes inspectors ask prospective buyers to sign something prior to the inspection stating that the inspection does not cover termites. This is why people often obtain a separate “pest inspection”. But pest inspections typically focus on active infestation. Check the home inspection report and agreement to see if such language is present.
Attorney Alan Fanger is a Professional Malpractice Lawyer serving Weston, Massachusetts and the entire Greater Boston and Boston metrowest region including the communities of Sudbury, Concord, Lincoln, Weston, Wellesley, Natick, and Framingham.