Termites Found After Home Purchase

By Christopher Combs | February 20, 2019

Question: Shortly after we closed on the purchase of our Tempe home last summer, we noticed termite tunnels in the bathroom. We hired a termite company to treat this termite problem for the cost of $2,800. The termite company told us that our home had previous treatment for termites. In fact, the records at the Structural Pest Control Commission ( that regulates termite companies show that there had been treatment by the seller for termites at our house as recently as the month before closing. The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement said no termite problems. The sellers now live in New Jersey.…


Seller Must Disclose Solar Panel Lease

By Christopher Combs | January 28, 2018

Question: Last year we purchased a home in Arcadia. The home had solar panels on the roof. The purchase contract and the title insurance policy said nothing about a solar panel lease. After moving into our home, we started receiving notices from a solar panel company saying that we owed them monthly lease payments for the solar panels. Apparently, four years ago our seller had signed a 15-year lease for the solar panels, but never told us. Do we have to make these lease payments? Answer: Probably not. The seller should have disclosed the solar panels lease to you. There…


Is Disclosure of Partying Neighbors Required?

By Christopher Combs | January 14, 2018

Question:  We have lived in our Goodyear home for more than 20 years. We never had any problems with our neighbors. Last year a young couple moved in next door. Every weekend there are parties, and I think that drugs are involved. We have listed our home for sale because we want to move into a smaller home now that our children are grown. Our listing agent said that we have to disclose to buyers any material and adverse fact regarding our home. Do we have to disclose these new neighbors? Our son is a lawyer in Los Angeles, and…


If Seller Lies, Can Buyer Cancel a Purchase Contract Before Closing?

By Christopher Combs | November 29, 2017

If Seller Lies, Can Buyer Cancel a Purchase Contract Before Closing?   Question: Last month we signed a contract with $10,000 earnest money to purchase a home in Sedona. In the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”), the seller said that there had never been any termites, or any termite treatment. During the escrow we had a home inspection and a termite inspection. Neither inspection discovered any termites or any termite damage. Two days before escrow was scheduled to close, however, we did a final walk-through. My wife looked in a kitchen drawer, and found a bill from a termite company to…


Reducing Claim to $3,500 – "Judge Judy" Small Claims Court

By Christopher Combs | November 13, 2017

Reducing Claim to $3,500 – “Judge Judy” Small Claims Court   Question: When we purchased our home in Apache Junction six months ago, the seller said in the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”) that there had been no roof problems. After the first monsoon rain we had significant water damage in our master bedroom due to a roof leak that we paid $4,800 to repair. Our roof repairman said that there had been prior roof repairs in the same location on the roof. In addition, our neighbor said that the seller had constantly complained about roof problems. After using all of our money…


Can a seller disclose that senior citizens live next door?

By Christopher Combs | July 2, 2017

Can a seller disclose to a buyer that senior citizens live next door?   Question:  We want to sell our Glendale home. Our next-door neighbor has an assisted living facility for six to eight senior citizens. My understanding is that the Fair Housing Act does not prohibit discrimination based on age. If we are asked by a buyer, “Who is the next-door neighbor?” are we allowed to say that it is an assisted living facility for six to eight senior citizens?   Answer:  Probably not. Fair housing protection generally applies to senior citizens living in an assisted living facility. Not…


Correct Answer for Agents if Asked About Sex Offenders

By Christopher Combs | May 28, 2017

Correct Answer for Real Estate Agents if Asked About Sex Offenders   Question:  I know that there was a major lawsuit involving non-disclosure of a sex offender in the Silverleaf community of north Scottsdale. I own a small brokerage firm with several agents. I tell my agents that, if they are asked about sex offenders in the community, they cannot disclose any such knowledge without the consent of the seller, but they cannot lie. In other words, if the agent knows that there is a sex offender in the community, the agent can say “I am not obligated to disclose…


Seller Must Disclose Roof Rats Even if Exterminated

By Christopher Combs | April 16, 2017

Seller Must Disclose Roof Rats Even if Exterminated   Question:  My husband and I will be listing our home in the next three months. We recently had a home inspection done so that we would have the time to repair any major problems before listing our home. The home inspection report found evidence of roof rats. We hired a local pest control company to exterminate the roof rats, and this pest control company has certified that all roof rats have been removed.  The orange trees that were the problem have been cut down. When we list the home do we…