I recently bought a home in new jersey. i had a home inspection and a termite inspection.
The termite inspector found termite damage in a wall in the basement that was the backside wall of the foyer. The foyer wall was wall papered and would have been trouble to open. when the sellers where ordered to fix the temite damage they opened up the basement wall (because it was easy)made a repair a put new piece of sheet rock over the repair. After closing we immediatly began ripping off the wall paper all around the house.The sheet rock in the foyer was all termite tunnels and behind it ( shared part basemwnt wall ).
The whole wall and the whole upstairs of then house is severly damaged. Even the hard wood floors on the second floor. Who ever opened the wall put a couple small pieces of 2"x4" in the wall from the basement and put new sheet rock to hide the total destruction of the walls. I spoke to my attorney and was told i had a final walk through and that it would be my problem. This can't be right the whole house is a wreck. the damage was hidden by someone. I am 25 years old, starting a family and this is my first house and i paid $280,000. i can not live in it and i can not afford to fix it is there no way i can get these repairs paid for? 609 713 1234
2 Answers from Attorneys
Generally, taking title to the home by completing settlement makes it difficult to impossible to make any claims, especially where there was a home inspection and termite inspection, and after your walk-through.
The termite inspection report should have specified the damage found and the repairs and treatment required. There should have been a written amendment to your contract saying what the seller would do to correct the problem. If there was no such amendment, or if there was but it did not specify how the problem was to be remedied (for example, repairs of x-y-z, enumerating the areas requiring repair, by a reputable/licensed contractor, termite treatment by a reputable and licensed exterminator), the seller would only have to do what you agreed to.
Your attorney may be in a better position to evaluate your rights, if s/h was representing you in the purchase and reviewed all of the documents.
If you are not satisfied that your attorney has fully evaluated your case, you would have to look for a lawyer who could represent you in a lawsuit against the seller and possibly against the inspectors.
This response is not legal advice, since I do not have all of the information that would be required, and I do not have a representation agreement with you.
* If the answers to your question confirm that you have a valid issue or worthwhile claim, your next step should almost always be to establish a dialog with a lawyer who can provide specific advice to you. Contact a lawyer in your county or township.
* Another reason for contacting a lawyer is that it is often impossible to give a good answer in the Internet Q&A format without having more information. The unique circumstances of your situation and things that you may not have thought to mention in your question may completely change the answer. If you want to be sure that you have a complete answer to your question and an understanding of what that answer means, establish a connection with a lawyer who practices in the area of your concern.
Without seeing the inspection report and all correspondence and documentation concerning the termite damage and repairs, it is difficult to render an opinion. Having said that, if the Sellers knowingly his a defect, that is fraud and you may have a claim. the problem will be in showing that the Sellers had actual knowledge of the defects you are now claiming.
If you would like me to look into this matter further, please contact my office at 732-663-1500.