Is a death in a home required to be disclosed?

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Is a death in a home required to be disclosed?

I purchased a FSBO home 6 years ago. I knew that the previous owner had passed away which is why the home was on the market. Not wanting to live in a home where someone had perished, I asked the seller’s representative (not a real estate agent), if the person had died in the home. The story I received verbally is that the previous owner had a heart attack in a nearby grocery store and not in the house. After moving in and talking to a neighbor, I found out that the previous owner had passed in the home and was not discovered immediately. Is this legal?

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is probably legal, since the fact that the prior owner had his heart attack in the home, rather than in a grocery store, is most likely not a material fact; that is, regardless of your own feelings on the subject, is it not likely something which would affect the market value of the home. If something does not affect the market value, it is not something for which there would be liability for a failure to disclose.


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