There were six drill holes in the concrete floor, therefore the pest inspector determined that it has been treated in the past. The previous owner is the 2nd owner of the house, and they lived in the house for about 20 years (the house is only 23 years old). So we think the previous owner was aware of the issue, but did not put it in the seller's disclosure.
We will contact the home inspector who did the inspection, and at the same time contacting other pest control companies to get several more quotes. We are hoping the seller could at least cover part of the cost for treatment. Does this plan sound do-able?
Unless you purchased from an original owner, make room for the possibility that they may not have been aware that the home was treated in the past. The treatment could have been performed ten owners back in 1960. I found myself in this same situation just two weeks ago with a buyer. Their home inspector found evidence that the home had been treated for termites in the past. There was no disclosure from the sellers. They lived in the house for 10 years and didn't have a clue. It happens. And, as David pointed out, it is impossible for the seller to disclose what is not known.
By the way, don't let the presence or past presence of termites stop you from buying a home that you otherwise really like. They are easily treated (at least here in the northeast) and you should be able.to get the seller to pay for treatment and the repair of any damage- as long as it is found during your inspection period.
You can try to go after the previous owner, but they usually only have to disclose know issues, not resolved issues. The fact that you had an inspection and didn't find anything will make it very difficult to prove that there was a current problem and the owners knew about it.
The last house I bought had a remote problem where we paid $1200 to remidiate and we never found any other termites in the 7years we lived there.
The MA Home Inspector Standards of Practice excludes Wood Destroying Insects.
There are Professional Organizations that provide training and certificates for people that attend their training seminars. As you know, nobody is perfect and there are conditions that might not be easily observable during an inspection.
As previously mentioned in one of the answers, the presence of termites does not always mean significant/structural damage to the home. Poor workmanship by unskilled labor relates to more structural damage than termites in my experiences.
Termites need moisture. It is important to determine if there are conditions at the home that allow excessive moisture accumulation.
You could talk to an attorney. You would have to prove that the seller knew about the termites and willfully hid it from you. But to try and recoup the cost of a termite treatment will probably cost you more then the just treating again for termites.
You talked about treatment, but is there any significant structural damage?
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That said, if you are able to obtain definitive proof that the sellers treated during their occupancy or had specific knowledge that the property had been treated in the past, that Seller's Disclosure where the termite section was conveniently left blank will become Exhibit A in your lawsuit. That's misrepresentation and yes, you should consult your attorney.
You have active termites on the property so treat the soil, and have the company return to the house every year to monitor for new signs of activity. When you go to resell you will need to disclose the termite history to your buyer...but if you can demonstrate that it was professionally monitored on an annual basis, that will be an easier pill to swallow for your next buyer and you should be fine.
Again, best of luck!
It's also possible the licensed pest control company you hired did not fail to see termites, because at the time of the inspection, there may have been no termites.
Unfortunately, I don't see that blaming the previous owner, or the company you hired to do the termite inspection is going to get you very far, but perhaps you may want to hire a lawyer to review this matter.
As for paying $1,200 for treatment, you may be better served having another termite inspection, to determine if you have termites and if you do, you should get a few more quotes for the cost of treatment.