In CA is termite treatment a requirement by law when you sell a house?

Asked by Yinjie Luo, Los Angeles, CA Thu Jan 14, 2010

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Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Jan 14, 2010
Hi Yin;
Termite clearance on a home may or may not be a requirement of your lender in order to fund the loan. When the lender requires termite clearance, they require "Section 1" clearance. Section 1 clearance are those conditions present in the structure which are actual damage or infestation(corrective work). Lenders do not require Section 2 clearance, which are those conditions present which are likely to lead to infestation or damage.
In Los Angeles, it's customary for the seller to pay for Section 1 and the buyer t pay for Section 2 work. Please note that all of this is negotiable.
Deborah Bremner
REALTOR, 00588885
Certified Short Sale Professional
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2 votes
.... Not entirely accurate.....

The document dubbed "Clearance" is actually a "Certification" from the WDO inspector - of Section I items - Completed...***

Section II items can be something as simple as a "water-stain" to "Roof leak".

Disclosure purposes meant to inform "buyers" & "Lenders" of possible future issues - or - expenditures to expect upon purchase.
IE: A "SECTION II" finding of a WATER STAIN at the ceiling - WILL - inspire the lender to REQUIRE a ROOF CERTIFICATION. A "SELLERS" responsibility to pay for - and yet? A Section II item?


There truly is "NO EXPECTED" responsibility to either party.
So sure. Buy a home with the possibility of having a bad roof, and its your expense to enjoy!
Flag Tue Apr 19, 2016
Phyllis Harb, Agent, La Canada, CA
Wed Jan 20, 2010
I can only discuss Los Angeles County with certainty, as some cities and counties have their own (point of sale) requirements.

In Los Angeles it is NOT required that a home seller provide a termite report or clearance.

Most lenders (other than FHA) will typically NOT require a termite report or clearance UNLESS it is written into the purchase contract that the seller will provide a report. In the event that the purchase contract states that the seller will provide a termite report, most lenders will require a copy and will require (section I/active infestation) termite clearance prior to closing escrow.

If the seller does not provide a termite report, the buyer should hire their own termite inspector in the course of their other inspections.
1 vote
Not to disagree with you but I believe FHA loans do not require Termite but VA loans do..
Flag Thu Jun 23, 2016
April Kass, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Thu Jan 14, 2010
It is not required by CA law however you may find that your mortgage company will require it. Generally it is paid for by the seller although that is negotiable. If you need the name of a good termite inspector let me know or check out the referral page on my website.
1 vote
Julie Maiora…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Feb 21, 2016
To save time, I would recommend having your seller get a report/estimate done early so that they know the costs involved when negotiations start. The cost of termite treatment is generally negotiable, although some lenders will require it.
0 votes
Tristam Biel…, Agent, South Pasadena, CA
Wed Oct 29, 2014
Unless a local law specifies otherwise, there is no CA law that stipulates this. Many homes are sold without termite treatment.

As a buyer you should always request an inspection and have the seller pay for section 1 treatment, however some homes that are sold "as-is" will not accept this, in which case you should request that you have your own inspection done and if you find major damage you can either renegotiate or invoke your inspection contingency.
0 votes
garypuntman, , Los Angeles, CA
Wed Oct 29, 2014
I don't think this is required. If you have had problems with termites in the past, then you will want to have this done though. It's also important to disclose this information to the buyer. If you have never had a problem with termites, then I think it is okay to leave it.
0 votes
Ellen, Home Seller, Escondido, CA
Wed Mar 21, 2012
Is it California law to require that fumigation be the primary mode of treatment if spot treatment is all that is necessary. Is it required to put the fumigation option on the escrow termite report.
0 votes
Mike King, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Jan 16, 2010
Everything in the California Purchase Agreement is negotiable, however, it is typical that the seller will pay for Section 1 termite (email me if you need clarification and Section 1) and as many others have said the lender may require a termite clearance. Some sellers will, prior to putting the property on the market, have a termite report done. Others will wait until the property is in escrow before they carry one out. If you are buying a home and your lender does not require a termite clearance, if the home has not been tented within 2 years, you should get one anyway. Most termite companies only guarantee their work for a max of 2 years.
0 votes
Hi Mike,
I've had my house tented multiple times since 1976, when we moved into our home. After we had concrete tile roof installed, we had to have several tiles replaced each time the house was tented, because the termite folks don't know how to walk a roof. The 1st time that I didn't have a roofer go up & check for broken tiles, we had roof leaks. The concrete tiles just protect the roofing paper from UV deterioration, so when they get cracked, they eventually slide & allow rain in. Because the termite guys insist the owner sign a contract relieving them from any responsibility for roof damage, the owner is stuck with double expenses if he/she wants to do the right thing - ensure the next owner isn't subject to roof leaks. We are putting our home up for sale, as we want to move to a single story house; we're seniors tired of climbing stairs. Should we stipulate in the sales agreement that the buyer will have the house tented, or that the buyer will pick up the tab for roof repair?
Flag Wed Feb 26, 2014
Alexandra Pa…, Agent, Montebello, CA
Thu Jan 14, 2010

Termite is not a law requirement. When the buyer makes the initial offer he/she can request for the termite report to be done and work to be completed at the cost of the seller. They seller can agree or ask the buyer to pay for it. (its negotiable)
0 votes
Mitch Lichte…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Santa Ana, CA
Thu Jan 14, 2010
Termite Treatment is only required if: a) the purchase contract requires it (negotiated between buyer and seller) or b) the lender requires it. If a termite is indicated in your purchase contract it may only require the inspection which would then require only certain conditions and not necessarily require the report to be clear.

Mitch Lichterman
Web Reference:
0 votes
Don Linden, Agent, Sherman Oaks, CA
Thu Jan 14, 2010
While what the other agents have to say is all true.......more lenders require pest eradication (i.e. termites and dry rot) prior tofunding the buyers loan. While it can be negotiated thru the process most sellers consider this part of their responsibility in delivering the property to the new owner (and it can be a tax write-off as an expense for selling your property - check with your tax advisor for verification) it is a very good idea to reduce any future liability. There are many reputable, and reasonably priced pest companies who specialize solely in this type of work (try to stay away from the big regional/national companies - this is not their area of expertise).
0 votes
Michael Tess…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Jan 14, 2010
Not required by law but could be required by the lender for the new buyer on the property or by contract depnding on what you agreed too.

Wishing you all the best,

0 votes
Peter Stewart, Agent, Indianapolis, IN
Thu Jan 14, 2010
No. It is a negotiating point however and it is common for the seller to pay for the report and section 1 damage.
0 votes
Parise DeJean, , Reno, NV
Thu Jan 14, 2010
I can only address Placer and Nevada counties in Northern California but here, it's not a requirement. We always suggest the buyer have a termite inspection, but treatment wouldn't be needed if termites aren't prevalent.
0 votes
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