Disclosure of termite damage in property sales

When purchasing a home, you want to have as much information as possible about the conditions of the property. Have storms damaged the house? Are there cracks in the ceiling? Structural issues?

One question you should be mindful of getting an answer to is whether or not the property has termite damage or a live batch of termites. Sellers in Alabama should disclose any known issues with a home, but they can commonly only be responsible for issues they knew of at the time of sale.

Unless you can prove a seller knowingly failed to disclose known information about damage to the home, responsibility may not fall to the seller. It’s important to bring in inspectors to determine if the property could have hidden issues.

Waiving your right to inspect the property for yourself is not advised in an Alabama home sale, particularly due to the legal condition of caveat emptor, commonly known as buyer-beware.

Even if a seller didn’t know about an issue of termite damage or live critters, wood infestation reports are part of the purchase disclosures for home sales. That means an inspection of your home should have recognized and reported any issues involving termites and structural damage.

A proper inspection involves searching accessible areas of the property to assess for any possible damages. Too often, proper inspections don’t happen and buyers end up with much more damage than what’s included in the original disclosure.

Responsibility for unreported termite damage does not always fall on the previous homeowner. Companies hired to conduct home inspections can be the responsible parties if issues aren’t disclosed at the time of sale due to an improper inspection.

Additionally, if a termite company failed to fully rid the home of an infestation, a homeowner can seek resolution for the damages and repairs.

Even in a buyer-beware state like Alabama, you deserve to know the condition of the home you’re buying. Any damage to the home should be clear in the purchase process so you know what to expect with the new property.

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