Sellers are legally required to disclose certain information about the real estate they are trying to sell. In Alabama, sellers must disclose any defects that impact health or safety. They must also disclose any defects that you ask about.

If you ask about termite infestations or damage and the seller fails to disclose this information, rescission may be a remedy.

What is rescission?

A rescission voids a contract, such as an agreement to purchase real estate. If you rescind a real estate contract, both parties will return to the position they were in before they made the contract. The statutes of the state where the real estate transaction occurred govern the grounds for rescission.

When might a buyer request rescission?

A buyer may request rescission when the buyer discovers undisclosed defects in the property they contracted to buy. For example, a Florida homeowner contracted to purchase a home that received a clean wood destroying organism report but has a termite infestation.

After discovering evidence of termite damage in the home, the buyer found out that the pest control service that performed the termite inspection was not licensed. Because the realtor who sold the home to the buyer requested the inspection from a company previously cited for conducting unlicensed pest control work, and there is a previous inspection report from a licensed pest control company that indicates termite damage, the buyer requested a rescission based on the seller’s failure to disclose material defects.

The right of rescission protects buyers from dishonest sellers who fail to disclose defects such as termite damage.