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Thread: termites

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    3

    Default termites

    I just bought an older home. The termite inspection passed with flying colors. However, I started to tear away some baseboard and found termite tubes. I then went to the basement and took down some plaster board that was covering the joists (I now know why) and found extensive termite damage.

    1. I know initially the termite inspector could not have seen behind walls, etc. However the owner of the termite company came over and conducted a thorough inspection and without admitting it, said yeah this house has had termites, they should've caught it to begin with.

    2. The property disclosure stated no termites ever present or treatment. However we found treatment holes/plugs in front of the garage that the previous owner built and he poured the concrete.

    I am in the process of mediation next week and I am getting a structural engineer in the property to asses the damage. I am already seeing damages joists, subfloor, baseboard and hardwoods. I have no idea how extensive the damage is.

    Now I am also wondering if the house has naturally settled, or the cause of some of my doorways that are at slight angles are because of the termites??

    Has anyone ever dealt with this? What are my chances of getting money out of the seller? BTW, I have been in the house exactly 1 month and 2 days, the house was built in 1919.


    thank you,

    Nate

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    OKC
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: termites

    to get money from the seller you would have to proove that they knew they had termites and did not disclose it to you, assuming you used a realtor, and they gave you a disclosure statment. usually the termite inspector will give you a warranty with their inspection. have you made a claim on your homeowners insurance?
    HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL!

    Oklahoma City, OK

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    3

    Default Re: termites

    I havent put a claim on my insurance yet. Should I? I guess at this point our proof of prior knowledge is the termite treatment holes that where in front of the garage that the previous owner built and in the driveway that he poured. Clearly showing he had treated for termites in the past.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
    Location
    OKC
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    247

    Default Re: termites

    sounds like questions for a lawyer, but i would think if you made a claim on your homeowners ins. they might be able to help?
    HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL!

    Oklahoma City, OK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: termites

    This is all starting to make me sick. This is our first home and now this problem is rearing it's ugly head. Today I found in a corner of a room that seemed to be hit hard with termites, behind the lath I was able to push a screwdriver all the way through a corner wall stud.

    just fantastic.

    Nate

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: termites

    That's incredibly frustrating. I had a similar experience. The former owner of my 1935 house checked the "yes" box on termite damager in her disclosure, then crossed it out and wrote "no". First clue, right?! So my inspection did find plug holes from treatment and found some damage, but it was not extensive enough to bother with, although her disclosure was dishonest. Then I was replacing my living room mouldings and when I took the old off, I discovered that there was significant wood rot between the walls. I ended up taking a 6 foot tall section of plaster out and having it replaced with drywall after sistering joists next to rotted ones. The culprit was a leaky section of gutter that she thought putting tar in would fix it. I was damn close to suing but I did most of the work myself and it ended up only costing me $100 because I hired the drywall work. I HATE messing with drywall! It's incredibly frustrating to buy a house, have a disclosure, do an inspection, and still find problems later on. And proving if the person knew about such issues/the inspector should have caught it seems like it would be too dificult unless you had a family friend lawyer or blatant proof that they were dishonest/negligent. In my case, too wishy washy to bother.
    Proud to be suburban free.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: termites

    Howdy, temite damage is not covered by home owners insurance no way no hiow.... Moreover if it was a covered loss which it is not this would be a pre existing damage prior to you owning the home an again be excluded from any insurance coverage . Do not make a claim it will only come to haunt you.

    You need to sepnd an hour with an attorney or two before any midigation. Sounds like you have substantial damages Contact the local insect treating companies an see if they have records of treating this home and get copies of any treatment contracts. Also check the court records of homes owners to see if they disclosed these damages etc...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: termites

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
    Howdy, temite damage is not covered by home owners insurance no way no hiow.... Moreover if it was a covered loss which it is not this would be a pre existing damage prior to you owning the home an again be excluded from any insurance coverage . Do not make a claim it will only come to haunt you.

    You need to sepnd an hour with an attorney or two before any midigation. Sounds like you have substantial damages Contact the local insect treating companies an see if they have records of treating this home and get copies of any treatment contracts. Also check the court records of homes owners to see if they disclosed these damages etc...
    Best advice so far .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    1

    Default Re: termites

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    143

    Exclamation Re: termites

    *** when I read your posts about termite damage I think of how lucky we were. Not too long ago we had termites try to invade our house and only found it because of a need to take a piece of ceiling down in our basement in order to run high speed internet in our house. To think too that we were not going to have high speed internet in our house and then changed our minds.
    With us the damage was very minor and they had just started to invade our house more like wood being drilled through in one area and that was it. I have a good idea though where our termites came from and that is our neighbors shed as it is full of termite damage and about ready to fall down. That and we have had moisture problems at our house in some areas.
    I agree with the person who said don't bother filing a claim with your insurance and that it could come back at you with increased premiums. I also agree that you should hire a lawyer and sue the previous owner for non-disclosure of a fault in the house and sue the inspection company for negligence as both parties are at fault. Whatever you do though don't have anything more to do with the inspection company until your lawyer files suit as it might hurt your case otherwise. Whatever you do too don't accept a check from either party as that will end any possibility of getting a proper settlement in court. I know because while I have never had to sue an inspection company or a former owner of a house I have had to deal with poor tenants who didn't pay their rent and had to sue them to get whatever I could in court. It's never fun to have to sue someone and lawyers are expensive but sometimes that is your only alternative.
    I also know you would like to get everything repaired as soon as possible but I think you should contact a lawyer first as the lawyer I am sure might want pictures of your property so you can prove in court your damages. If the pictures are good enough you might not even have to go to court as they might want to settle out of court,if they do that is great. To help your lawyer and your case get plenty of estimates from contractors. Good luck to you!

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