A termite infestation is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, this nightmare has come true for two recent homebuyers in Clermont, Florida. One of the new homeowners, Ester Maritza, invited a local television news station into her home in order to expose the infestation that the home builder had failed to mention before the home was sold. Several days passed before Maritza was able to determine the source of the thousands of swarming termites within her home. Maritza’s next door neighbors also recently moved into an adjacent home that was built by the same construction company. Not surprisingly, Maritza’s neighbors are also struggling with an infestation of winged termites.
According to Maritza, the winged termite swarms resembled a hurricane. The two recently constructed houses were built by Century Homes, which is a home construction company that is based in Florida. Maritza claims that the company sold her the home without mentioning the termite infestation. Maritza and her neighbors both bought the homes with a warranty. However, Maritza claims that officials with Century Homes are not honoring the warranty. Officials with Century Homes have claimed that they are willing to pay for one year of termite inspections, but the two new homeowners insist that a mere termite inspection is not enough to eradicate the termite infestation from the homes.
According to Florida’s building code, home builders are required to have newly constructed homes treated to prevent termite infestations. This means that home builders are legally obligated to chemically treat all their properties soil, and this includes soil beneath the home and underneath concrete slabs. If this treatment fails to prevent termite infestations, then new homeowners can contact state regulators for a termite inspection. Both of the homeowners have reported the termite problem and their dispute with Century Homes to Florida’s Agriculture and Consumer Services Department. Century Homes has responded by saying that they will pay for all damages that the termites have caused to the new homes.
Do you think that every state should have government agencies responsible for protecting homeowners from home sellers that do not take proper measures to prevent the homes they sell from becoming infested with termites?
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