Attorney For A Home Purchase Termite Inspection In Maryland
Buying a new home is a huge step for an individual or a family. For many, if not most people, buying a home Is the largest and most important purchase they will make in their lifetime. On one hand, the home provides shelter and a place to live and build memories. On the other hand, a home is also an investment and many families rely on the appreciation of home values to build wealth. One can clearly see that the purchase of a home is not something an individual should approach lightly or without the assistance of multiple professionals.
One of the more important aspects of a home buyer’s due diligence is to ensure that the home is free from serious defects. One of the potentially most serious defects is an infestation of the home by termites. If your home inspector missed termites, termite damage, or other signs of a problem the lawyers of Whitney, LLP may be able to provide legal advice and representation. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation, please call our Maryland law firm today. While our office is based in Maryland, our attorneys can represent home owners in termite inspection cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. as well as Maryland and in other states depending on the facts and circumstances.
Who Has a Duty to Disclose or Find Termites?
Under Maryland state law, it is the seller who holds a duty to disclose latent defects that exist in the property and its structures. A latent defect is a type of problem in the home that is not immediately or readily ascertainable. Essentially, the defect is hidden and not typically discoverable through a reasonable inspection of the property. The presence of termites in a home can be considered a latent defect.
What Termite Disclosures Must a Seller Provide the Home Buyer?
If you are interested in purchasing a particular property, you are likely to express interest in the property to your real estate agent. At this stage, the real estate agent will gauge your interest in the property. If it appears that you have a bona fide intent to move forward with the purchase, it is likely that he or she will request disclosures from the seller.
Sellers will typically make this type of disclosure through either the Maryland Residential Property Disclosure Statement or similar or equivalent forms. If the seller knows of a past or current termite inspection or damage, he or she has a duty to disclose this information.
Unfortunately, some sellers may try to pass on the costs of termite damage or a termite infestation to the purchaser. They may take active steps to conceal the presence of termites on the property. In other scenarios, they may simply omit to mention the problem and hope that the buyers don’t catch the problem.
Can I File a Lawsuit or Make Legal Claims if the Termite Inspection Didn’t Catch a Problem?
If you believe that you have been tricked by the sellers’ of the home or think that the inspection company didn’t perform its job, you may be able to file a legal claim to recover damages. However, the exact nature of your legal claim will depend on the facts, situation, and scenario that you face.
Consider a scenario where the termite inspection company inspector has an ongoing business relationship with the realtor who recommended the inspector. Perhaps the inspector turned a blind eye to an infestation in order to facilitate the sale going through, as many prospective buyers would choose to walk away from a termite inspection. In this scenario, a fraud claim may be appropriate. If a claim is filed against the termite inspection company that defrauded the homeowner with wrong and false inspection results, both compensatory and puntive damages may be recoverable.
In other scenarios, it may make more sense to file a claim with the homeowner’s insurance company. To pursue this approach, a timely claim must be filed with the insurer. However, one should first review the language contained in the insurance policy to ensure that coverage for termite damage is present. However, even when your policy clearly authorizes coverage for this type of damage, the insurance company may attempt to disclaim coverage. We can fight to secure the coverage and benefits you are entitled to receive.
Residential Home Termite Inspection Attorneys in Maryland
If you are purchasing a home in Maryland, make sure that you perform all due diligence, including a termite inspection performed by an experienced and reputable termie inspection company. Preventing a problem from occurring is much preferable and less expensive than engaging in steps to remediate. The experienced Maryland lawyers of Whitney, LLP can provide guidance to homeowners who are stuck dealing with home defects, including but not limited to home termite infestations that were not disclosed or discovered prior to the sale of the property.
Most termite inspection cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, with our attorney’s fees paid out of the compensation we recover for our clients. To schedule a free and confidential consultation at our Maryland law firm, please call Whitney, LLP at 410-583-8000 or contact us now using our online Quick Contact form and an attorney will be in touch with you soon to discuss your case.