Holding my breath... house next door sold (LONG)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, May 4, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We live in a "paired" home. Essentially, it's a duplex and we share one common wall.

    Well, the unit attached to ours has had various renters for the past 15 years. The owners have usually found nice, responsible families to rent who agree to maintain the yard and minor repairs in exchange for very reasonable rent. However, the owners have neglected to really do much of anything else to maintain the property (trees are overgrown, wood fence is falling down, patio cover dilapidated, needs exterior paint, etc.)

    When we painted the exterior in November (it had been 8 years since it was previously painted, and 13 years prior to that) they refused to paint their side, even though we'd given them about 3 months notice that we wanted to do this.

    At the time we painted, I had our side inspected for termites, since it's a problem we have from time to time and there's no point in painting if the wood needs to be treated and/or repaired. I usually have an inspection every couple of years because I believe that if you stay on top of the problem you can just spot treat, whereas waiting can result in extensive damage and the need to fumigate the entire structure.

    In the past, I'd always let them know when we had found termites so they could look after their own side. They NEVER HAVE. Two years ago we found activity in the front where the two properties meet. My pest control company treated the area and repaired the damaged wood, actually having to replace some boards on the garage roof. I let the owners know about the problem and told them about the visible damage on their side. Again, they chose to do NOTHING.

    So in November, when I had our side checked before painting, there was no activity found in the recently repaired area. But by February, I could see a new hole eaten through the wood in the same spot that was fixed before. Of course, I'm livid beause I feel like the termites just came back over from the neighbor's side.

    Okay, so now this place is being sold and I'm anxious about what the home inspector is going to say about their termite problem. I'm anticipating that they're going to say they need to fumigate. Well if any of you have been through that (and I haven't but I've heard enough about it -- plus we just went through a series of evacuations in November/December) you know what a major PITA it is to bag everything up and move out of your house for a couple days. Not to mention the expense.

    I'm of the mind that I will either 1) not agree to fumigation or 2) agree to it but the seller will have to pay all of our costs since I have little to no termite activity on my side because I've stayed on top of the problem.

    Does this sound unreasonable?
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Doesn't sound unreasonable at all.
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    No, it does not. I would put up a stink.
    If the owner wants to sell that badly, which I am sure he does.
    He will accommodate you.
    That is a crock, Our neighbors up in Idaho put up a stink if something affected each other and we had acres between us.
    If we sprayed for bugs we had to let each other know ahead of time and things like this. Or we all did it together to fight the problem.
    I would let any potential owner know and I would let the owner know that you are going to do this. In a nice ;) way.

    You have done more than your part and been more than fair. I think.
  4. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I am director of marketing for a real estate company. ABSOLUTELY have the seller's rep put that cost into the closing costs for the purchase of the home. It wouldn't hurt to have paperwork stating you have maintained your side. But there is no way you should have to pay for that. If anything the new buyers will be mildly upset with the seller (who cares - they're leaving anyway) This way the new buyers also know they have a conscientous new neighbor. It is to your benefit if they fumigate which will hopefully alleviate problems in the near future. Good luck!

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Get your receipts ready! I would so make them pay for your expenses. Like you said above - when you do not do the maintenance, it ends up costing you more. That owner is about to learn the lesson the hard way!
  6. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    You don't have to move the contents of your home out, just yourselves. Then they put your place in basically a zip lock back for awhile. It was very common when I lived in Florida.

    I had routine inspections and monthly service, but those buggers still dug through my concrete base. Cost me a bundle when I sold and moved.

    Good luck with this.

  7. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Termites are a deal breaker. Once the new owners find out there is termite damage, they can back out. I would. Those owners must not be the brightest bulbs in the pack.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Technically - I don't think they tent unless.....BOTH sides are totally and utterly unable to be controlled with sprays and drillings.

    I would call any pest control company or call the one that you've been dealing with and before you get upset ask them what (best/worst) case scenario could happen.

    I've been through tent fumigation - NOT FUN at at all so I don't think you're being unreasonable - but if I had to treat for termites every year I think I'd have a serious talk with my fumigation company.

    I pulled the handle to our shower one morning in FL and the entire door - frame and all came off in my hand - due to termites.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think they are just cheap and lazy. They figured they could rent it out and just sit back and collect the checks without having to put any of it back into the place.

    What floors me is that a friend of theirs told me the owners took out a loan and did a complete overhaul of their primary residence's backyard last year -- landscape, hardscape -- the works. But they haven't spent a dime on the rental. :mad: And now apparently they are having financial trouble so that's why they are selling the rental.

    husband told me he talked to the inspector this morning and pointed out the termite problem as he was leaving for work. I guess we'll see what happens. I've got MY receipts for the spot treatments we've had over the years, so they can't say we've been negligent AT ALL. Like I said, I usually have it inspected every couple of years, or more often if I see signs of activity outside. So far we've been able to stay on top of things and keep the damage to a minimum. An ounce of prevention...

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'll let you know what happens!