If you hired a home inspection company to search for termites in a home you are considering purchasing; you likely did not expect the company you hired to perform a fraudulent inspection. Unfortunately, many homebuyers are deceived by termite extermination scams. These homebuyers are often told that their property is infested with termites so that the extermination company can offer their services. If a termite inspection company defrauded you or a family member, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore termite inspection fraud lawyer today.
At Whitney, LLP, our termite fraud lawyers can help you file a claim against an extermination company that defrauded you. Buying a home is a big decision, and you should not have to worry about being scammed in the process. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.
Common Termite Inspection Scams
No one wants to purchase a property that is infested with termites that may cause significant structural damage. Hiring a termite control company to inspect your property is routine for anyone that wants to ensure their future home is up to par. However, some companies may try to capitalize on a homebuyer’s fears. The following is a list of common termite inspection scams that an unethical termite control company may commit.
Planting Evidence of Termites
There are various signs that termites may have moved into a home. For example, termites usually grow and shed wings frequently and tend to leave behind tiny mounds of waste. Some fraudulent termite control companies may use this information to their advantage and plant evidence of termites around the house. Once the inspector has convinced you into believing your property has termites, they will likely offer their eradication services.
Fabricating Termite Damage
Identifying termite damage is difficult to the untrained eye. There are various reasons why a home could have wood damage, but if you are not familiar with the signs of termite damage, it is easier for an inspection company to allege that termites caused certain issues.
Some companies may also offer a free termite inspection to get their foot in the door. Once you accept the free inspection, they may use the opportunity to suggest that your home needs to be immediately fumigated to deal with the termites. Depending on how long the fumigation takes, you could be scammed out of a large sum of money.
Not every termite control company is going to fabricate the existence of termites. An inspector may genuinely find an infestation in your home that needs to be handled. However, some companies may purposely use improper equipment when eradicating termites from a house. For example, an exterminator may use low-quality chemicals that may only eliminate some of your infestation problems. The reason for this is so that your home becomes re-infested and they can offer their services again.
It is important to be thorough when hiring an extermination company. You should ask what type of chemicals are being used to deal with your termite problem and even ask to see the actual products being used.
Renewable Contract Scams
Some pest control companies may attempt to rein you in with a renewable or year-long contract. The exterminator will typically state that the eradication of the termites was successful, but there is a possibility they will return. The exterminator may then push you into signing a continuous service contract that renews if your termite problem reoccurs. You should avoid signing these agreements because they are typically designed to extort a homebuyer.
Termite Inspection Fraud Claims
The State of Maryland defines fraud as the intentional failure to perform a promise. This means if a termite control company agrees to rid your property of termites and intentionally fails to do so, they can be sued for fraud. There are multiple elements to fraud that a plaintiff must prove if they want to recover compensation against a fraudulent pest control company:
- The pest control company made a false representation to the plaintiff
- The pest control company knowingly or recklessly made a false representation
- The misrepresentation was used to defraud the plaintiff
- The plaintiff relied on the misrepresentation
- The plaintiff suffered compensable damages after relying on the fraudulent representation
A plaintiff must prove all of these elements if they want to prevail in their fraud lawsuit.
Our Maryland Termite Inspection Attorneys Can Help You File a Fraud Claim
If you or a family member was the victim of termite inspection fraud, you should contact an experienced Maryland termite inspection attorney today. The termite fraud attorneys at Whitney, LLP are prepared to provide you with diligent legal representation to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online.