Can we sue the people who rented our house for knowingly attempting to cover up termite damage?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can we sue the people who rented our house for knowingly attempting to cover up termite damage?

I was leasing a house in Texas and the renter’s knowingly covered up termite damage on the surface. After having the home inspected by a termite inspector, he informed us that they only got rid of the surface termites and knowingly hid it.

Asked on August 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue them if:
1) You can prove they knowingly hid the damage--the inspector's expert opinion may well, however, establish that. We mention this because you have to bear in mind that you have to be able to show their knowledge; they would not liable if they did not realize there was other than surface damage and thought they had fixed that.
2) You can could them for the cost to repair damage which you can show would have been prevented if they had themselves taken proper action and/or notified you in a timely manner, so you could have taken action. That is, you can only sue for damage that you can show their actions caused or exacerabated. Damage which would have occured anyway, by the time they become aware of it, they did not cause and are not responsible for.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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