Professional wearing protective suit while doing a termite treatment. SAM Conveyancing's guide to selling a house with termite history
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Selling a House With Termite History

(Last Updated: 07/12/2023)
4 min read

Having an infestation in your property can be expensive to remedy. Among all types of infestation you can get in your property, termites might be the most dangerous. That is because they can cause significant damage to any wood and timber in homes, and remedying it may be expensive. Getting rid of this problem might not be enough since you may have to replace the timber destroyed or other affected areas.

Alternatively, if you're buying a house and you suspect it may have termites, booking a home buyers survey is essential. An experienced RICS surveyor with knowledge of the local area will be able to spot signs of infestation and refer you to an appropriate specialist.

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What are termites?

Termites are small, pale, soft-bodied insects living in large colonies, normally within a mound of cemented earth. The mounds can become quite large, sometimes more than a metre in height. There are many different castes including blind workers, soldiers and queens.

The damage is caused as workers and soldiers find nearby wood and timber sources and use these for food. They have been known to strip whole houses in 2-3 years.

Some common types include:

  • Dampwood Termite (Zootermopsis and Neotermes)
  • Drywood Termite (Cryptotermes and Incisitermes)
  • Formosan Termite (Coptotermes formosanus)
  • Subterranean Termite (Reticulitermes, Coptotermes and Heterotermes)
  • Conehead Termite (Nasutitermes Corniger)

Although termites aren't necessarily considered a threat in the UK, global warming and trade are causing their geographic range to increase. Termites still pose a risk to your property, so it is best you get a RICS surveyor to check your property.

Is it hard to sell a house that has had termites?

Selling a house with termite history shouldn't be difficult. You are allowed to sell the property, but you are liable to disclose this information to any potential buyers. It would be best to make sure that the problem has been permanently solved before trying to sell. The value of your property might be decreased by this.

If your surveyor concludes that you have a termite infestation, they can refer you to a specialist. However, you do have other options. You can:

How do I permanently get rid of termites?

When trying to eliminate a termite infestation, it is best to ask for professional help. Termite infestation can be a recurring problem, so an expert will be able to advise you on how to handle this best.

If you're interested in selling a property with termite history, you must ensure that the infestation is cleared first. You can do this through:

Targeted chemicals
A specialist inspects the termite infestation and places protecting chemicals appropriate to the species around areas vulnerable to attack, such as within the foundations.
Dry foam

This can be used to fill voids and spaces in walls, under slabs and around pipes, which protects against infestation but is of sufficiently low moisture content so it doesn't damage, for example, dry walls.

Bait with poison

It can be introduced into at-risk locations around your home such as old tree stumps which interferes with a termite's ability to moult which stops it growing.

Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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