Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, wills & estate planning, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
Have you ever been asked if you believe in haunted houses? Around Halloween, it’s common practice to visit haunted houses and other allegedly haunted attractions for amusement. But, in the wonderful world of real estate, what happens if the seller is convinced that the house is haunted by a previous resident who committed suicide? Let’s talk about this further and answer some of these hair-raising questions.
Buyers, Sellers, and Haunted Houses
Suicide is not required to be disclosed in Texas and neither is paranormal activity. What if the seller believes a “demon” caused a death on the property? Does the seller need to disclose this? Under the Texas Property Code, section 5008(c), it should be disclosed because the death was not from “natural causes, suicide or accident unrelated to the condition of the property.”
Before jumping to the conclusion that this is far-fetched or the result of me watching too many horror movies, consider the following statistics from YouGov.com.
- 45% of Americans believe ghosts and demons exist
- 43% of adults think ghosts can haunt people or places
- 36% of Americans claim they have personally felt the presence of a spirit or ghost
- 13% of Americans say they have directly communicated with a ghost or spirit
What do these statistics show? These surprising numbers suggest that for roughly half of the population the decision to purchase a property could be impacted by perceived paranormal activity on the property. Remember, no one wants to stigmatize a property when selling it, but if a death occurred on the property, disclosing the death is the best practice, whether it is legally required or not. The neighbors will be eager to share the details with the new owner, so full disclosure upfront can prevent future litigation.
What if you Don’t Disclose a Death?
Let’s take the scenario where the seller and agent both do not disclose a death upfront because they are not legally required to do so, but a potential buyer specifically asks if there have been any deaths (or ghosts) on the property? In this instance, the seller MUST disclose it, or he/she will be misrepresenting information that the buyer considers “material.” The agent must also disclose it if known to the agent. (TREC Rule 531.2)
As you can see, death and disclosure in Texas real estate are quite fascinating. Death can create complications for real estate agents, attorneys, and other property professionals. It’s best to be forthright with information related to a home’s history and the residents that once lived there.
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?