If Ibought and paid for a townhome that had termites,was it even legal to sell a home that had such an infestation?

Also, is it my HOA’s responsibility to fix the problem?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) It is legal to sell a premises with termites; the issue will be whether there any disclosure violations or fraud.

2) If the seller knew of the termites and did not disclose them, then you could probably sue him for compensation (e.g. cost of treatment and repairs)--he likely either violated your state's real estate sale disclosure rules and/or committed fraud. But if he did not know of them, he probably did nothing wrong and you would likely not have a cause of action--people are generally not responsible for conditions of which they were not aware.

3) Whether you or the HOA fixes the problem depends on where the termites are located (e.g. in the interior, which you would be responsible for, as homeowner), or in exterior walls, if the HOA is  responsible for the exterior walls. You need to look to who, you or the HOA, is responsible in your community for different areas; that should determine.


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