Termites Found After Home Purchase

Question: Shortly after we closed on the purchase of our Tempe home last summer, we noticed termite tunnels in the bathroom. We hired a termite company to treat this termite problem for the cost of $2,800. The termite company told us that our home had previous treatment for termites. In fact, the records at the Structural Pest Control Commission (https://tarf.azda.gov/index.php) that regulates termite companies show that there had been treatment by the seller for termites at our house as recently as the month before closing. The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement said no termite problems. The sellers now live in New Jersey. We obviously wish that we had ordered a termite inspection, but we were trying to save money in order to pay for closing costs. What can we do now?

Answer: Termites are very common in Arizona. The saying is that “if a home in Arizona doesn’t have termites now, it soon will.” Therefore, a buyer should never buy a home without a termite inspection. If you had ordered a termite inspection, the termite inspection should have discovered this termite problem, and you could have canceled your contract to purchase the home. Your only remedy now is to sue the sellers for $2,800 in Arizona, and then try to collect from the sellers in New Jersey.

Note: Unless you purchased your home for cash, your mortgage company should have required a termite inspection. Therefore, you should check with your mortgage company.

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