Our new home in Weston has termites!
Who is responsible? My wife and I bought a home in Weston and discovered termites shortly after we moved in. Are the sellers responsible or is the home inspection company responsible? They had to know there were termites as there are termite control stations around the property. What is our recourse?
A home inspector can usually determine if there is evidence of active infestation or past infestation. However, many of the current contracts used by home inspectors make clear that the scope of the inspection does not include any effort to identify current termite infestation. Those contracts have been held by courts to be valid. So in the first instance you need to determine whether that type of language was in your home inspection contract. If the language is not there, it may be possible to hold the home inspector responsible.
The seller is not responsible unless you asked about termites and the homeowner falsely stated there were none and knew that statement was false. Keep in mind, however, that even if you believe the statement was false, the P&S agreement you signed with the seller probably has a provision that says that you didn’t rely on anything the seller said about the property other than what’s contained in the P&S, and surely the P&S has no mention of termites. If that language is indeed in the P&S, it would be quite difficult to hold the sellers responsible.
Attorney Alan Fanger is a Massachusetts real estate litigation lawyer and professional malpractice attorney. He serves the entire Greater Boston and Boston metrowest region including Norfolk County, Suffolk County, Middlesex County and the communities of Arlington, Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Canton, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Framingham, Lexington, Milton, Natick, Needham, Newton, Norwood, Quincy, Sherborn, Sudbury, Waltham, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston, Massachusetts.