For some buyers the revelation that someone died in the home can be a deal-breaker. Fortunately for these sensitive buyers, California Civil Code §1710.2 imposes liability upon sellers and their agents for not disclosing “the occurrence of an occupant’s death upon the real property” within the 3 years before the purchase offer.
While the duty to disclose an occupant’s death is not explicitly stated in the statute, the duty to disclose this “material defect” is implied through the creation of a cause of action for omission of the disclosure.
There is an exception for deaths occurring within the 3 year period before the purchase offer. If the deceased occupant was afflicted with AIDS no disclosure of the death is required.
The 3 year limitation does not protect sellers or their agents from misrepresentation in response to direct inquiry.
Adam Garcia is a real estate agent and attorney helping homeowners safely sell their homes in Sonoma, Napa and Marin. Adam also helps clients sell their homes in Bodega Bay California.
By Adam Garcia.