Q:disclose unnatural deaths to tenants ? - Posted by Azaleah

Posted by TRandle on April 17, 2002 at 16:32:55:

I’m sure that each state differs, but I typically choose to disclose when in doubt. The tenants or buyers will discover it soon enough anyway.

I like your “unnatural” description. I simply refer to mine as my murder house when not talking to prospects. I disclose the death upfront on the phone and my best guess is that it disturbs about 50% of the callers. Unfortunately, this house also has a layout issue which was not apparent to me at the time of purchase. It’s not that bad, but when combined with the death, this particular house is a challenge to move when it becomes vacant.

That said, I’d buy another murder house if I thought the numbers made it worthwhile. Hope that helps…

Q:disclose unnatural deaths to tenants ? - Posted by Azaleah

Posted by Azaleah on April 17, 2002 at 14:53:19:

I am starting out as a REal Estate Investor. And there
is this one property selling below market rate. We made
an offer and we were given a counter offer disclosing
that an unnatural death occurred in the house 2 years
My question, should we still take the property ? If
we buy it, and rent it out, should we disclose this
event to our tenants ? If we flip it and sell it, should
we disclose this event to the prospective buyers ?
Is there any site I can check out when disclosure of
this kind are mandatory ?

I am not sure if I should proceed with this and any
help is greatly appreciated.

Azaleah from California

Re: Q:disclose unnatural deaths to tenants ? - Posted by Lance (ID)

Posted by Lance (ID) on April 18, 2002 at 11:25:02:

It is always agood policy to disclose everything including a death on the property. Such a fact may be very material to someone buying it as a personal residence and not important to someone buying it as investment property.
Also, check your state laws. Properties which have had unnatural deaths or even supposedly ghosts are called “stigmatized” or “psychologically impacted” properties. Because of buyer lawsuits over non-disclosure and questions about whether death from a terminal disease such as AIDS on a premises had to be disclosed, several states, and I believe California, adopted statutes regulating disclosure of such issues.


is the body gone? - Posted by JohnB_NJ

Posted by JohnB_NJ on April 18, 2002 at 08:43:58:

Did they take the body away? Good enough. People die everyday. Some die in houses. Some die in houses at the hand of someone else. Sometimes its suicide. To me, if the body is gone its over.
Then again, I don’t believe in ghosts.

I purchased a house at sheriff sale and the owner shot himself in the living room. I didn’t find this out until a neighbor told me. I said, “ok, thanks for the info.” A few days later I had someone that was interested inthe house. They said to me, “Did you know someone died in this house?” I said, "Yes, but they took the body away."
So, I asked my attorney, “do I need to disclose this death to my buyer”. I was told no. It is not a defect with the house.
This is my take, hey but what do I know …

You do what you feel is right and always follow your state’s disclosure laws. But since I am not an attorney, I follow the advice of mine.


Re: Q:disclose unnatural - Posted by Terry (Houston)

Posted by Terry (Houston) on April 17, 2002 at 23:56:38:

A story I have, which I will talk more about when all is said and done, has a death in it.

I got the deed the day of the tax sale. I have a contact that was able to stop the sale.

After getting the deed, we found that there was a daughter to the man who died who had claim to the house.

The wife, they were married 13 months before he died, never told me about her, or the issues surrounding his death.

We are working to get the right sign offs on the deed, but in the mean time started to market the house.

The next door neighbor called me after I put my signs in the front yard. They wanted to buy the house.

It seems that they have been taking care of the yard for the 6 years the property stood vacant.

When we went to show the house to them, the husband explained that the owner had died right in the front room of a drug overdose.

It did not bother him at all. He wants the house as is. We will not do a thing to the house.

So yes, you can buy it that way, just disclose.

Terry (Houston)

Re: Q:disclose unnatural deaths to tenants ? - Posted by Travis (Dallas)

Posted by Travis (Dallas) on April 17, 2002 at 19:45:01:

I would make sure that I bought the property at a discount and I would disclose everything.
Good luck.