Shhh, Don’t Tell: Sellers Not Obligated to Tell About Murders in Houses For Sale

by admin on August 7, 2014

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled that home sellers and realtors don’t have to disclose a house’s dark history, including murders or suicides, in the selling process, reports Courthouse News Service.

The decision comes after home buyer Janet Milliken learned from a neighbor of a 2006 murder-suicide in the house after she purchased it in 2007. Miliken filed a lawsuit against the sellers, Kathleen and Joseph Jacono, citing violations of state consumer protection laws.

The trial court dismissed the suit, and the Supreme Court unanimously upheld that ruling in favor of the defendants. In the court opinion Justice J. Michael Eakin said “the varieties of traumatizing events” that could happen at a property “are endless.”

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The opinion stated, “The occurrence of a tragic event inside a house does not affect the quality of the real estate, which is what seller disclosure duties are intended to address.”

Read the full story here.

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