Disclosure of death in property

Asked by newinvestor, 91106 Thu Mar 25, 2010

I own a 6-unit multifamily property. If one of my tenants deceased from terminal illness, would i have to notify other current tenants? When the unit is vacated, would i have to disclosure to prospective tenants? What if other units became vacant 3-6 months later, would i have to disclosure to prospective tenants regarding the death on another unit? Thanks.

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Curt Schultz, REALTOR and Architect’s answer
Curt Schultz,…, , Pasadena, CA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Regardless of the law, I always advise my clients to disclose a situation like this. Someone who has been ill for a long time that loved their home so much they wanted to die at home, there. It sounded peaceful, I have had homes with a similar history and never heard a potential buyer put off by that kind of death on the property.

Buyers will like your openness, honesty and like that someone else loved that home. Deaths within 3 years must be disclosed. Again, I would disclose it, particularly since it is an apartment over 4 units and not likely an owner occupied buyer who won't care. I would also disclose it to tenants.

Curt V. Schultz, REALTOR-Architect
Pasadena, Ca.
1 vote
Agentq, Agent, Altadena, CA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
From the 2010 California Tenants Handbook found at http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/index.shtml

"Death in the rental unit.
"If a prior occupant of the rental unit died in the unit within the last three years, the owner or the owner’s agent must disclose this fact to a prospective tenant when the tenant offers to rent or lease the unit. the owner or agent must disclose the manner of death, but is not required to disclose that the occupant was ill with, or died from, AIDS. however, the owner or agent cannot intentionally misrepresent the cause of death in response to a direct question."

Ami Thai
DRE# 01704700
Dilbeck Realtors ~ Christies Great Estates

Search Properties: http://www.OpenHousePasadena.com

Enter to win a FREE vacation in Napa Valley
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1 vote
DiedinHouse, Both Buyer And Seller, Chapin, SC
Sun Jun 2, 2013
Go to http://www.DiedinHouse.com, to get help answering the questions, "Has someone died in your house?".

Using a valid U.S. address, Died in House â„¢ instantly searches millions of records to determine if a death has occurred at that location.

Go to http://www.DiedinHouse.com to learn more. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and Linkedin.
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Sun Feb 27, 2011
Interesting that the laws in different states vary so much!
0 votes
So can you tell me if NY state requires death disclosure for apartments. Can it be grounds for terminating lease ?
Flag Sat Oct 11, 2014
Derek, Home Buyer, 88310
Sun Feb 27, 2011
I am not in Real Estate. So my answer/comment also goes to all theose Rel estate professional that answered.

If your state has a law that requires manadatory disclosure then disclose the death to the requirements of the law. Now what about those states that do not have a MANDADTORY disclosure law? Just because there is no manadatory disclosure law does not mean you do not have to answer it. How about as a real estate agent or private investor following their your own moral responsibility, or code of ethics?

You may be a real estate investor, or licensed professional, you may not believe in the super natural or be religious, however potential buyers will be and are. Perhaps your client or potential buyer has recently been through something tramatic pertaininig those events or even had "paranormal activity" at any of their previous residences? If you are afraid to lose a potential sale because of the disclosure of murder, death, suicide, hauntings. Then, in my humble opinion, you have very low morals or ethics.
0 votes
Tom and Joan…, Agent, Boston, MA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
New Investor:

You need to check the state laws on stigmatized properties. In Massachusetts you do not need to disclose deaths of natural causes, but rather only when there have been murders. Hope this is helpful.
0 votes
Monique & Joe…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Thu Mar 25, 2010
Hello New Investor,

You should disclose to prospective tenants of that unit about the death for 3 years. You might want to notify the tenant's if they don't already know as perhaps they had a friendship with the tenant but legally you should only notify prospective tenants of that unit.

Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
0 votes
Jason Stevens, , Englewood, FL
Thu Mar 25, 2010
I'm not familar with disclosure laws in CA, but here in Florida disclosure of a death is not required. It does not materially effect the value of the property so therefor does not need to be disclouse. People die in homes all the time. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of one of your tenants.

Jason Stevens, GRI,ABR
Kevin Flynn Realty, Inc
Email: jasonstevens@embarqmail.com
0 votes
I have heard that if the new renter asks if there was a death in the management is required by law to answer honestly. There was a suicide in my daughter's Florida apartment just before she rented it. It seemed strange that they would not let her view the unit for quite a while and that they were so pushy with her rental terms. This is her first time renting and the integrity of this management is troubling. Now that she has moved her belongings in, the neighbors are all telling her the sad story of the former tenant. Can any action be taken considering she did ask before she signed the lease.
Flag Thu Dec 24, 2015
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