Rental Basics in Cupertino>Question Details

Celia Estelle…, Home Buyer in Myrtle Beach, SC

Termites in the house I am renting?

Asked by Celia Estelle Shields, Myrtle Beach, SC Sun May 5, 2013

I am renting a house after staying at my boyfriends I came home to a bed full of what seem to be termites. I went to get rid of a bookshelf and it was ruined with termite damage. I have decided to move out but is my land lord responsible for the termite damage done to my belongings? Also can he cover moving costs?

Help the community by answering this question:


I’m looking for 1-2 bdrm apt in Lynbrook high school area,Cupertino,San Jose.
My daughter wants to go to this school.I need it by Oct.I have no pet. If you have a apt want it to rent out please let me know. Thank you!

mother and daughter
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 24, 2013
I'm sorry you suffered a loss..

Was the home in a bad state of repair? Was the termite infestation something the landlord knew about or should have known about?

A landlord isn't responsible for everything that might happen. They are responsible for negligence, misrepresentation, and possibly accidents. If moths destroyed your clothes would you expect the landlord to be responsible? The key to determine responsibility, if the house itself is infested with termites, should the landlord have known about it? He is responsible for keeping it in habitable condition (and in general you also have responsibility to keep the property reasonably clean etc). Imagine you owned the house and you were living in it, would you have known there were termites?

Useful contact information for Cupertino home owners and residents:

Good luck,

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650-857-1000

Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Celia, I think you will find the information at this web page and associated links at the CA Dept of Consumer Affairs helpful.

If following the advise of the information I've pointed you to, you still can not come to a mutually agreeable course of action with youe landlord, you might want to get legal advise. In fact, you might want to get legal advise sooner than later.

Be careful, if you move out prior to the end of your lease agreement, you may be liable for the future months of agreed to rent.

Stu Carson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
It is a legal matter, not real estate...
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Hi Celia,

You may wish to repost your question in the proper location in South Carolina rather than here in California for the best information regarding tenant rights and termite activity in your state. Also before approaching your landlord about the termites talk with a pest control expert to determine the source of the termites, entry point, etc. Having a professional's opinion will help you if you seek to discuss remuneration from your landlord.

Here in California, we rarely, if ever, see the type of termite infestation that you are describing. I have never seen a swarm congregate on a bed or chew up just one piece of furniture. I have, however, seen people buy termite infested furniture that ships from other countries like Asia, only to suddenly discover a swarm of termites in a room coming out of the furniture, rather than from a home. Since termites can take up to five years after infestation to begin to leave visible traces in a home, it's not uncommon to own a piece of furniture for years without problems and then to suddenly find termites. Since you mention seeing only one bookshelf with damage, the problem may have started at the bookshelf rather thn in the home. Again, your pest control expert can tell you more.

Good luck,
Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates nd Homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
I urge you to take a good look at your rental agreement. That is a good place to start. What are your obligations and what are the obligations of the landlord?

Next, before you start contracting lawyers...have you spoken to your landlord directly about this? I would certainly want to find out what he or she is willing to do and offer before seeking counsel.

Lastly, if your landlord is not willing to do anything, you can seek advice for landlord/tenant boards or move out. If the landlord is not willing to address the issue, then that certainly would legitimize your move to break a lease.

Good look/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Yeah I spoke with him. About a few concerns I had and it has been over a month and he hasn't done anything about it. It started with being concerned about the condition of the floors of the house. when i asked him after he looked at it he said, "well Bob the floor guy and i came and jumped on your floors and they seemed sterdy... and since then things have been progressively worse.
Flag Sun May 5, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer