Disclosure of Death in the House

One homeowner got a surprise that would make some consider moving.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A British man found a doll in a crawlspace of the house he’d just bought with a note taped to it that said “Thank you for freeing me!  My original owners lived in this house.  I didn’t like them.  Stabbing was my choice of death for them.”  Welp.  Time to move.  The homeowner said he just thinks it’s a great joke.  Uh-huh.  

Had he been in the US, some—but not all states—would have required the seller to tell him of a death in the house.  California sellers have to disclose any death in the house in the past three years.  Alaska and South Dakota require disclosure of a murder or suicide in the past year.  And in New Jersey, sellers have to disclose deaths resulting from a property condition like toxic mold.  But in most states, sellers don’t have to tell you about a death at all unless a buyer asks, so if you’re buying a house, ask, “uh, any murders here? How about creepy dolls?”

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