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  1. #1
    janec Guest

    Recover damages after sale of home

    I live in California. I bought a house recently and discovered right after closing that rats were/are living in the house and garage. The day of closing I found a baited rat trap on the back porch and a large pile of rat excrement swept up into a pile in the garage. The next day I found a dead rat on the side of the house. I called a pest control company the next day. I took pictures of all of it. None of this was disclosed by the seller. He claims he didn't know about the rats. I want to recover the cost of the pest control service from him. I have spoken to the RE agent. She represented both of us in the sale. RE agreement requires arbitration but I don't know how to get that going. What do I do next ? Thanks.
  2. #2
    Souix is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Recover damages after sale of home

    Originally posted by janec
    I live in California. I bought a house recently and discovered right after closing that rats were/are living in the house and garage. The day of closing I found a baited rat trap on the back porch and a large pile of rat excrement swept up into a pile in the garage. The next day I found a dead rat on the side of the house. I called a pest control company the next day. I took pictures of all of it. None of this was disclosed by the seller. He claims he didn't know about the rats. I want to recover the cost of the pest control service from him. I have spoken to the RE agent. She represented both of us in the sale. RE agreement requires arbitration but I don't know how to get that going. What do I do next ? Thanks.

    **Did you have a pest inspection before closing?**
  3. #3
    janec Guest
    Seller is required to disclose all known and susoected defects. The question is how do I go about getting the arbitrator ? Is the RE agent supposed to hire them ? Am I required to find and hire ? This is what I need to know. Sorry if I was unclear.
  4. #4
    Souix is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by janec
    Seller is required to disclose all known and susoected defects. The question is how do I go about getting the arbitrator ? Is the RE agent supposed to hire them ? Am I required to find and hire ? This is what I need to know. Sorry if I was unclear.

    **I understand what you are asking. What were the results of your pest inspection? This will be the first question any arbitrator will ask Did you have a pest inspection? Did you have any kind of inspection?
    Last edited by Souix; 04-09-2003 at 04:18 PM.
  5. #5
    janec Guest
    The pest inspection was for termites only paid for by the seller. This is customary for RE sales in California. They found termites and tented and sprayed, etc. I paid for a home inspection. No specific mention of rats, rodents or anything like that in the home inspection report.
  6. #6
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Writer, did you sign a dual agency agreement and was not the agent the listing agent representing the Seller?
  7. #7
    Souix is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by janec
    The pest inspection was for termites only paid for by the seller. This is customary for RE sales in California. They found termites and tented and sprayed, etc. I paid for a home inspection. No specific mention of rats, rodents or anything like that in the home inspection report.


    **I know what is customary in California, I sold real estate there for 7 years. Normally a pest inspection includes rodents, termites, carpenter ants, etc. Your pest inspector should have been able to smell rats if there were any at that time. I am just trying to save you time and expense in going thru the arbitration process. My suggestion is to call the pest inspector and find out why this was missed.**
  8. #8
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by janec
    [B]The pest inspection was for termites only paid for by the seller. This is customary for RE sales in California. They found termites and tented and sprayed, etc. I paid for a home inspection. No specific mention of rats, rodents or anything like that in the home inspection report.

    **A: a home inspection does not cover pests including rodents, snakes, Bigfoot etc. But if the home has a basement, raised foundation crawlspace and attic, ask the home inspector if he/she saw any evidence/signs of rodents. Ask the termite inspector the same question and th equestion raised by Souix. When you did a final walk-through inspection with the agent prior to closing, did you not see any rodent evidence? You did conduct a final inspection and appliance check, correct?
  9. #9
    janec Guest
    I'll call them but I don't hold out much hope there. My pest control company said he doesn't think that the other company completed the work they were required to do to clear the termite report.

    The previous owner had two large pieces of wood to keep his dogs from digging under the fence. They were large, about 8"x6"x24" in other words you can't miss them. It was less than a foot from the house out in the open. When I moved it about 10 days after close of escrow it was infested with subterranian termites. This was missed by the pest control company.

    The termite report called for drilling holes in the garage slab and treating for subterranians. There is no evidence in the garage that any holes were drilled or filled.

    We closed escrow November 13th. The evening of November 13th I found the rat trap (not a mouse trap) on the back porch. Clear evidence that the previous homeowner had had problems with rats at some time. He denies in writing that they "ever" had a rat problem, not that they had one and it was taken care of at some point in time. The pile of rat excrement in the garage was covered by his personal property until he moved out which was the day before escrow closed. The final walk through was a few days before that.

    Including the dead rat on the side of the house, my pest control company caught two rats in the house in the crawl space. The main infestation is now living in the garage as the house has been secured and cleared. There is a false ceiling in a portion of the garage above which the rats are living. The previous owner had chickens.
  10. #10
    janec Guest
    As far as the RE agent. The agent was the listing agent for the seller. We signed an agreement so that the agent could represent both the seller and the buyer.

    There is more evidence than I have posted. I did not post it all in an effort to be brief.
  11. #11
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by janec
    [B]As far as the RE agent. The agent was the listing agent for the seller. We signed an agreement so that the agent could represent both the seller and the buyer.

    There is more evidence than I have posted. I did not post it all in an effort to be brief.

    **A: in that case, the agent represented the Seller. You had no real estate agent.
  12. #12
    Souix is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by HomeGuru
    [B]
    Originally posted by janec
    As far as the RE agent. The agent was the listing agent for the seller. We signed an agreement so that the agent could represent both the seller and the buyer.

    There is more evidence than I have posted. I did not post it all in an effort to be brief.

    **A: in that case, the agent represented the Seller. You had no real estate agent.


    *****But wouldn't that fall under the dual agent category?*****
  13. #13
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    That's correct but under the dual agency, the brokerage firm and the agent represented only the Seller as the client.
  14. #14
    janec Guest
    Even if that were true (but I think it is dual agency) how would that make a difference ? I have a contract with the seller, and it requires arbitration in cases of dispute between the seller and buyer. State law requires the disclosure of material facts that could affect the value of the property. I consider this to be a material fact which the seller failed to disclose. The only question for the arbitrator is whether he believes the seller knew or suspected there was a problem before the sale.
  15. #15
    Souix is offline Senior Member
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    Home Guru, are you suggesting that the writer take the Realtor to arbitration too?

    I have no idea how to setup arbitration or mediation as I have never been in that position. Actually, I have never been sued...so how does one setup arbitration, HomeGuru?

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