When purchasing a house, it is reasonable to rely on assurances made by the seller if they seem trustworthy. Unfortunately, just because a seller is honest does not mean the house inspector they hired is reliable. Some inspectors may be negligent when surveying a property for termites or worse they could be purposefully withholding information for their benefit. If you or a family member purchased a home in reliance on a negligent or dishonest inspector’s termite report, you should consult with an experienced Towson termite damage lawyer.
At Whitney, LLP, our termite inspection lawyers are prepared to help you hold a dishonest inspector liable for their actions. A termite infestation is a serious issue that could prevent you from moving your family into your new home. You should not bear the burden of repairing extensive termite damage because a house inspector deceived you. To schedule a consultation to discuss your claim, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.
Common Reasons an Inspector May Withhold Termite Information
Depending on the circumstances, there are a few reasons why a house inspector may withhold the existence of termites. If you are purchasing a house, you should be aware of all the possible termite scams that some buyers fall prey to.
One common scheme that a house inspector may conceal the existence of termites is to cut costs for their company so that they can earn more profits. For example, the inspector may purposely use inadequate or defective equipment that will not detect termites.
If the inspector also offers termite extermination services, they may have more incentive to withhold information about termites. Refraining from informing a seller or buyer about the existence of termites can allow an extermination company to offer their services when the termite damage is more serious. This could allow an unethical pest control company to make money from an inspection and then reap more money from later offering their services.
Another common termite scam perpetrated by inspectors and pest control companies is to partially exterminate a termite infestation. The reason for this is to suggest that the homeowner signs a renewable contract with the inspector’s company to continue service if the termites return. This allows the inspector to continue to earn profits that he or she created.
It is also possible that a termite inspector was simply not thorough when investigating the seller’s property. There are various signs that a home may be infested with termites. For example, an inspector could check whether wood beams in the home have been hollowed out by termites. Termites eat wood from the inside out, which sometimes make it difficult to detect them. However, if the seller hired a skilled inspector, there should be no issues finding the existence of termites.
To learn more about why a termite inspector would withhold information, you should speak with an experienced Maryland termite damage attorney.
When to Sue an Inspector for Negligence or Fraud
The circumstances of your case will dictate whether you should file a lawsuit for fraud or negligence against an inspector. If you believe the inspector did not intentionally conceal information, you should file a lawsuit for negligence. If the inspector purposely hid the existence of termites, you should file a lawsuit for fraud.
You must prove the following elements to show that a house inspector was negligent in searching for termites:
- The inspector had a duty of care to the buyer to find the termite infestation
- The inspector breached his duty by failing to discover the existence of termites
- The buyer shows that the inspector’s actions caused termite damage to her home
- The inspector’s failure to detect termites resulted in damages to the buyer’s home and financial losses
If you want to prove that the inspector committed fraud, you must prove the following elements:
- The inspector intentionally or recklessly made a misrepresentation to the seller or buyer
- The inspector wanted to defraud the seller or buyer
- The seller or buyer relied on the inspector’s misrepresentations
- The buyer suffered economic and structural damages as a result of the false representation
If the seller did not adequately vet the inspector that performed the inspection, it is possible that may also be held liable for negligence.
Contact a Maryland Pest Control Company Attorney Today
If you or a family member was the victim of fraud due to the actions a termite inspector, you should contact an experienced Maryland pest control company attorney today. The termite damage attorneys at Whitney, LLP have a wealth of experience dealing with various types of termite cases involving negligence or fraud. Our firm has served clients in Towson, Baltimore, Annapolis, and many other regions across Maryland and other states. To schedule a consultation to discuss your potential case, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.