Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Disclosure of death in property, CA

We own a home in CA where our tenant was murdered. We are now faced with having to re-rent or sell. Does our realtor have to disclose that there was a ''violent death''? Or just that there was a death and if asked how/manner disclose it then? Under what legal code is this found?

Asked on 10/10/08, 2:00 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: Disclosure of death in property, CA

There is a duty to disclose anything that might affect the desirability or value of a property to a buyer, lessee or renter. In general, this is a common-law duty, but heavily supplemented by statutes, principally Civil Code sections 1102 to 1103.14 (and to some extent 2079 to 2079.24 dealing with a broker or salesperson's disclosure responsibilities). As far as I know, none of these statutes mentions disclosure of violent death, but the common-law duty remains. The most significant statute is probably Civil Code 1710.2, which sets a three-year limit on the duty to disclose the fact of, or cause of, an occupant's death. Even this statute does not, however, relieve the owner of providing an honest answer to a direct question from the prospective buyer or tenant.

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Answered on 10/10/08, 2:59 pm

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