Q: At what point is a termite inspection required before buying a house? Frankly, I’m more worried about bedbugs. Who’s responsible for eliminating these pests?
A: "The contract of sale should have a provision that after signing the contract of sale the purchaser has seven to fifteen days to have a termite inspection, which should also include an inspection for fleas and bedbugs and other insect infestation," says Daniel Krimmer, attorney at Class Abstract Services, Inc. in Mineola.
The inspection will indicate whether there is an infestation or damage and how much it would cost to treat and repair the condition. In turn, the buyer will receive a one-year guaranty from the termite company. The contract is usually renewable on a yearly basis.
"When the seller receives notice from the purchaser that the report came back with a problem, he can either treat the condition and repair the damage within a prescribed time and provide the purchaser with a one-year guaranty or return the down payment," explains Krimmer. "Usually the seller will utilize their own company for the repair or treatment because if they don’t take care of the problem for this purchaser, then they will have to take care of the problem for the next one."