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Do you have to disclose a death in a house? Some buyers may prefer not to think about this unpleasant subject, but others may insist on finding out what major life—and end-of-life—events occurred inside a prospective home.

Most sellers know they are obligated to disclose physical defects, like a faulty foundation or mold infestation, but what rules exist about disclosing a death? Let’s take a look.

Do sellers have to disclose a death in the house?

In most cases, if someone has passed away peacefully in a house, “there’s no legal obligation in most states requiring that [sellers] disclose it,” says Jason Wells, attorney and realtor and partner of Wells Law Group in Phoenix, AZ.

However, if you live in California, South Dakota, or Alaska, there are exceptions to the rule. In California, for example, any death on a property (peaceful or otherwise) needs to be disclosed if it occurred within the last three years. The seller must also disclose any known death in the home if the buyer asks. So if you live in one of these three states, check with your state’s housing authority.

What about disclosing a violent…