If we sold our house and now the buyers are asking us to pay to repair ductwork and treat a rat infestation in the attic, are we obligated to pay?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2011

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If we sold our house and now the buyers are asking us to pay to repair ductwork and treat a rat infestation in the attic, are we obligated to pay?

We sold our house about 4 months ago. Several weeks later we were contacted by our real estate agent because the buyer’s have a rat infestation and ductwork in the attic was eaten through. They are asking us to pay for the damage. In the disclosure form we stated “Yes” to the boxes about rodents and pests and listed companies we used to treat them and on-going maintenance. When asked for details we sent an email to our agent stating there were rodent droppings in the attic, but never in the house. As part of ongoing maintenance we set a few traps on occasion and sprayed foam into possible entry points.

Asked on August 14, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In California, sellers of real property are required to disclose in the transfer disclosure statement and its supplement all items that they know would materially affect the price that a willing buyer would pay for the property or its desirability.

From what you have written, it apears that you made proper disclosures in the the required transfer disclosure statement of the very problems that the new owners are complaining about and that they received, signed and dated this disclosure before close of escrow.

Since it seems that the proper disclosures were made by you before escrow's close to the buyers, you should not be obligated to pay for the elimination of rodents. If the buyers had their own third party inspectors who missed damaged ductwork before escrow's close and you knew nothing about this damage, you should not be obligated for this repair as well.

Good luck.


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