Disclosing a Death on the Property

By Home Bay

Posted on December 7th, 2014

It may sound strange, or even unreasonable, but a death on a property is considered a material defect that must be disclosed to the buyer, according to many state laws. Read on to learn more about disclosing a death.

State laws vary, but at least in California, the following do NOT need to be disclosed:

  • You don't need to disclose the death if it occurred more than three years ago unless the buyer specifically asks about deaths on the property. In that case, you are required by law, to tell the truth.
  • AIDS is classified by federal law as a disability and it is considered discriminatory to disclose it. As such, you are not legally required to disclose an AIDS-related death, even if the buyer specifically asks about deaths on the property.

Our polling suggests most buyers are not concerned about a natural death on the property. So in most cases, deaths will not impact a buyer's willingness to proceed with an offer to purchase your real estate.

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Posted in Seller's Disclosure, Escrow