What recourse do I have if the person that I purchased my house from failed to disclose pre-existing termite damage?

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What recourse do I have if the person that I purchased my house from failed to disclose pre-existing termite damage?

Approximately 7 years I decided to purchase a home.  However, the previous owners failed to disclose pre-existing termite infestation which I recently discovered while removing old insulation. It has evidently been there for awhile and still ongoing.

Asked on March 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may have no recourse.

First, after approximately 7 years, there is a good chance the statute of limitations has expired; that means that too much time has passed to bring a lawsuit.

Even if that hasn't happened, the former homeowners would potentially be liable only if they knew of the termite damage and knowingly or intentionally failed to disclose it. If they themselves did not know of this damage--which is certainly possible--then they would not be liable, since they would not have done anything wrong. Even if you could bring a suit, proving what they knew (the burden to do so would be on you, as the one brining the suit) after so much time could be very difficult.


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