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Termite Protection as Preservation Improvement

Subterranean Termite Tube Into House

Do not overlook termite protection as a preservation improvement for a tax sale property. There is a foreclosure redemption case that says the redeeming borrower must pay for termite protection.  Durr Drug Co. v. Acree, 241 Ala. 391, 2 So.2d 903 (1941).  Foreclosure redemption includes all “permanent improvements” but that has been defined as any repairs or upgrades. A termite bond is not an upgrade, like adding a bathroom or something. So, it must fall under “repair.”

Because the tax sale “preservation improvements” include repairs, then I think the Durr case is good support for being able to collect them in a tax sale redemption. The statute says “preservation improvements shall mean improvements made to preserve the property by properly keeping it in repair for its proper and reasonable use, having due regard for the kind and character of the property at the time of sale.”  I certainly think termite control qualifies.

What do you think?