Is the person we bought our house from obligated to inform us of a suicide by a previous owner?

I just bought a house and heard rom the neighbors that the previous owner had committed suicide in the house. I never knew about it. Should I have been told this before buying?

Asked on March 20, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In CA, a seller must disclose all material facts regarding the property that might adversely affect its value or sale. And, if someone dies on the property that's a material fact. That is so long as the death occurred within 3 years of the date the buyer made an offer to purchase the home. However, if a buyer specifcially asks a seller about a death, then the seller must inform the buyer of any deaths of which they are, no matter how long ago the death occurred. 

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