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I just purchased my home 9 months ago and have come to find out we have decades of extensive termite damage.

Greenburgh, NY |

The termite damage is sooo bad all of the structural beams are hollow and need replacement. A termite expert has looked at the damage and explained there is decades of damage in the home. The home is not structurally sound. Thousands of dollars in repair is required to make my home safe. Can I sue the previous home owner and home inspector?

Attorney Answers 3


Dear i just purchased the home with termite damage/

Let your lawyer know right away, as the seller and perhaps the real estate broker either failed to disclose the condition of the property, as required by law, or fraudulently misrepresented the condition of the property.

Your own home inspector may have failed to inform you of the condition and you should look to your agreement with your inspector for a review of your rights.

Of course the seller and broker may have made a false disclosure and you may have let them get away with this (you will learn in Court if they can escape a material misrepresentation) if your contract provided that you inspected the property and you are purchasing in an "as is" condition.

New York Real Property - Article 14 - § 462 Property Condition Disclosure Statement, requires a disclosure of the condition of the property prior to making a contract for sale.

If this did not happen you should be visiting a local attorney for immediate assistance.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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In NYS there is generally no duty for a seller of real estate to disclose latent or patent defects to a purchaser. Any obligation of the seller to the purchaser would depend on the terms of the contract. However you must keep in mind several points:

a) Most representations made by the seller do not "survive the delivery of the deed." Meaning that the purchaser is given time to investigate the seller's representations, but once title has passed then those seller representations expire, excepting those that "survive delivery of the deed."
b) Most residential real estate contracts contain a contingency period in order to perform a "termite inspection". Assuming that you hired a termite inspector you must examine the inspection report. Most inspections disclaim damage or infestation in inacessible areas. If you hired a home inspector or engineer to inspect the property then you must read the inspection report to determine if any negligence resulted from the inspection.
c) Even though by NYS statute, a seller of real estate (subject to restrictions) must give representations as to certain physical aspects of the property, there is provision for the seller to give a $500.00 Property Disclosure Credit in lieu of those representations. Most seller's give the $500.00 credit rather than the representations that the Statute requires.

These are some of the issues that will have to be addressed before you and your attorney can decide what avenue to pursue. Hopefully the damage can be repaired expeditiously and you can begin to enjoy your new home.

Note: This response is for general informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created. No responsiblity shall be taken by the submitting attorney for any individuals acting pursuant to any information contained herein.

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You should consult a local attorney to determine your options.
You likely have a tough case in which you would have to prove that the seller had actual knowledge of the latent, defective condition and intentionally failed to disclose it.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

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