Would you want to know if somebody was murdered in your potential new home? Died of natural causes? Died from suicide?
We recently published a story online about court case involving a Vancouver woman who was sued for not telling a home buyer someone had been murdered on her property. She won her appeal and didn’t have to pay damages.
Even though the story was not local to Vancouver Island, on the Citizen’s Facebook page people found it interesting enough to share their opinions, which were varied — and largely dependent on how the death occurred.
While some, like Sandra Vanderleek argued, “It has zero to do with the house,” others said they would want to know if there’d been a death in the house they were looking to purchase.
“Ordinary deaths occur but suicides and murder are not something I would be comfortable with,” wrote Patricia Larsen Wakefield.
“Personally would be more concerned with links to crime — would the aggressors know the buyer is a new tenant?” added Cynthia Van Basten.
“Suicides, no, they should not have to be disclosed by the family unless the buyer asks,” wrote Charlene Van Koevering. “Murders and deaths by natural cause in the home certainly should.”
“I sure wouldn’t want to buy a home where a murder occurred,” added Iidiko Jeklin. “Disclosure should be mandatory.”
Corrine Thompson shared her story, and her first-hand perspective.
“If this is such a concern for buyers after they purchase a house, why are they not asking about it for every house that they view? Did someone die here?” she asked. “My son died of suicide in our house, and our realtor wanted us to put it on the disclosure but I argued that it was not relevant and if buyers were concerned about that they should be asking, then I would certainly disclose.”
Harold Knutsahk wrapped it up by talking about ghosts and the afterlife.
“And it’s kooky people that believe in stuff like that that make it necessary to NOT have to disclose it,” he said. “Every inch of this planet has had something die horrifically on it, time to be grown-ups and stop pretending that a house can be haunted by ghosts and bad juju. It’s better for everyone to not know about stuff like that unless there are tangible reasons it needs to be disclosed.”