DEAR BARRY: When I bought my home 12 years ago, the seller disclosed that she had no knowledge of any termites. Last week, I discovered evidence of termites, so I called a pest inspector and he found plugged holes in the slab floor where termicide was injected years ago. This means that the former owner lied on her disclosure statement. What can I do to hold her liable for the cost of exterminating the termites that are now in my home? –Julianna

DEAR JULIANNA: There is no way to have recourse after 12 years, even if the disclosure statement was less than honest. The seller, in fact, may have been totally honest in her disclosures, believing that the termites at that time had been eliminated by the termicide that was injected through the slab.

If termites are common in your area, a termite inspection should have been performed when you were buying the property. If there were live termites in the home at that time, that should have been reported by the inspector. If none were reported, the seller’s disclosure was probably correct. If termites have reappeared in the intervening years, that is not surprising or unusual.

Again, 12 years is too late for recourse. If you have a new batch of termites, simply have them treated. Once every 12 years isn’t bad.

DEAR BARRY: We bought our home, an old ranch house, about 10 years ago. Recently, while remodeling the interior, we discovered that the well and holding tank are hidden in the wall between the kitchen and bathroom. The building inspector says this is not to code and has put a hold on the project. We hired a home inspector before buying the property, but he never reported this condition. How could this have passed the home inspection? –Joyce

DEAR JOYCE: The most likely reason the well and holding tank were missed by the home inspector is that they were concealed between the walls. Unless there was some visible evidence, there may have been no way for the inspector to make that discovery. On the other hand, a competent home inspector would have attempted to verify the water source, if only by checking for a shutoff valve on the outside of the building.

However, the unusual placement of the well and tank indicates that this is a very old home. If that is the case, their location should be "grandfathered" and should not become an issue with the building authority. If the building inspector will not relent, you should discuss the matter with an attorney.

DEAR BARRY: We just converted our hall closet to a laundry, but we’re not sure where to vent the dryer. Can the exhaust duct from a gas dryer be connected to a sewer vent? –Roy

DEAR ROY: Connecting a clothes dryer to a sewer vent is not safe or legal because sewer gases contain methane, the same gas as in your stove, furnace and water heater. If sewer gas vents into your dryer duct and is ignited, you might not like the way your laundry comes out.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Inman Connect is LIVE next week! Join us and thousands of your peers from wherever you are.Register Today×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription