If we just purchased a house last week, what are our rights regarding an undisclosed rodent problem?

Inspector said he couldn’t find the attic access, so my husband signed off on the inspection report. Then, 2 days later, my husband found the visible access. The AC duct/insulation eaten up by rodents, plus visible poop droppings in several locations, urine smell in several locations, etc. The previous owners probably knew because they had an air freshener in a closet, which is one of the areas that had the urine smell. We had a bar of soap in kitchen and next day it was half chewed. Do we have a case against the inspector or previous owners? We now have to get a pest control company, A/C duct work, cleaning crew, the holes in the exterior of the house that the pest made to get in need to be found and fixed.

Asked on September 10, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The inspector is correct having signed off on the report, which stated he could not find the attic, you gave up any potential claims against him in this regard.
As to the former owner if you believe, and believe you can prove as you evidently do that he was aware of the rodent problem and lied about it in the disclosure, then he may have committed fraud if he did, he could be liable for your costs to correct and repair the problems. You should speak with an attorney about the situation and possibly suing based on the extent of the problems you describe, a consultation with an attorney would seem to be well worth your while.


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