The Tampa homebuyer is asking the state to investigate the agent for conflicting inspections and unknown termites


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Two termite inspections yielded conflicting ratings for a Tampa home, and a disgruntled homebuyer claims the results of the first were never published.

The second inspection of the split level on East Osborne Avenue was conducted by unlicensed exterminator Jose “Joe” Mendoza, who is now facing four crimes related to forged and forged reports of wood-destroying organisms (WDO).

The Florida Department of Agriculture says a man operating without a license made several fictional reports

Realtor Laura Keyes, her realtor Dalton Wade, and home seller Darlene Allen are being sued by Jonah Huggins, who bought the house for his family in April.

Huggins, an Army veteran who recently served in Afghanistan, has also filed a complaint against Keyes with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation alleging she committed fraud.

“Our schedule was to get married, go on a honeymoon, come here and raise our family and everything would be perfect,” said Huggins. “The problem with that is that after a few days, termites started swarming all over the place.”

WFLA photo

There are conflicting inspections associated with the property.

One in January pointed to “visible evidence” of wood-destroying insects. Shortly after this inspection, a purchase contract for the house failed. A home inspection from that failed sale also revealed signs of termites in the attic.

Another report in April indicated “no visible signs” of termites.

Records show that Keyes was the seller’s agent on both inspections and requested the second, which was conducted by Mendoza.

In his lawsuit, Huggins claims the termite problem was never disclosed. When asked why this was not announced, Keyes was silent before driving away.

According to the Mendoza warrant, “SMS showed that Mendoza had several other jobs for Keyes,” including the house that Huggins had bought. According to a court document, Keyes said she did not know that Mendoza is not licensed.

Unlicensed Tampa Bay exterminator fined but still spraying has been under investigation for years

Huggins attorney Alex Mindrup claims the sellers and Keyes deliberately kept the termite problem secret.

“They know that they cannot sell it for more, or even necessarily sell it,” said Mindrup.

Keyes, Wade and Allen deny the allegations in their response to the Huggins lawsuit and have moved to dismiss. Huggins is demanding damages and has asked the court to order the seller to buy the house back from him.

In addition to making claims about the termite problems, Huggins also claims that the seller failed to disclose that the first floor of the house was connected to a failed septic tank. Huggins said it cost nearly $ 20,000 to connect the house to the city’s sewer system.

Defense attorney Shawn M. Yesner said in an email: “As this litigation is currently pending, I cannot comment on it.”

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