When selling a home, do you have to disclose a suicide attempt or death on the premises?

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When selling a home, do you have to disclose a suicide attempt or death on the premises?

What recourse does one have if the another realtor is divulging this information to the business community when it is not even germaine to the condition or value of the home?

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an obligation to disclose a suicide attempt or death. Not generally--unlike structural, electrical, flood, etc. issues of which you are aware, there is no general obligation on a seller to disclose these factors, and no liability for not doing so.

(One exception: if a buyer or potential buyer specifically asks about this, stating it is important to him or her to know, and you, with knowledge of the suicide or death, lie and claim nothing like that happened, that would be fraud--a material  (important--at least  to this buyer) mistatement (or lie) made  knowingly, to induce the buyer to enter into the transaction. In that case, that buyer might later be able to rescind the sale or seek monetary compensation.)

There is no recourse, however, against someone who is disclosing this fact to others, if the fact is true--the law does not entitle you to control what other people say, as a general matter. You'd only be able to take action against the realtor if the information had been obtained confidentially or the realtor was violating some contract/agreement or the terms of his/her representation of you.


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