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Happy Halloween!

Owners and licensees are not required to disclose psychologically affected issues, psychological impact, psychological stigma (e.g. the suspected presence of ghosts, murders, death) affecting real estate so long as there is no material impact on the physical condition of the property being transferred.

So if there is a skeleton or blood or body on the property, call the hotline because that is arguably more than a mere psychological affect/impact/stigma affecting the property.

The buyers can ask if there is a ghost or other psychological affect/impact/stigma affecting the property.

If asked about psychological issues, do not make a false or misleading answer. One option is to state "That is a question that I will write down and give to the seller for a response."

Options for sellers: time cures the psychological impact on potential buyers of some issues such as a murder or death on the property. So, sellers might wait to sell or rent the property for awhile before selling.

That being said, the seller might disclose suspected ghosts in the seller disclosure as a way to avoid tangling the property up with a buyer who is afraid of ghosts and might terminate under due diligence after weeks or simply walk away from the deal after weeks upon learning of the suspected presence of ghosts. Neighbors or the internet might reveal psychological issues affecting a property to potential buyers.

The seller might disclose suspected ghosts in the seller disclosure as a way to a quick sale at a high price from a buyer who ain’t afraid of no ghosts and desires to own a potentially haunted house.

SCR310 and SCR311 due diligence are good for buyers who are concerned about psychological stigmas because the buyer can timely/properly terminate after hiring ghost inspectors as part of the inspection language of SCR310 who suspect ghosts are present. Sellers are not required to hire ghostbusters as part of the SCR310 repair procedure.

SECTION 27-50-90. "Psychologically affected" property disclosure exceptions.

(A) An owner is not required to disclose the fact or suspicion that a property may be or is psychologically affected, as described in subsection (B).

(B) A cause of action may not arise against an owner of real estate in a covered transaction for failure to disclose:

(1) that the subject real estate is or was occupied by an individual who was infected with a virus or other disease which has been determined by medical evidence to be highly unlikely to be transmitted through his occupancy of a dwelling place; or

(2) that the death of an occupant of a property has occurred or the manner of the death; or

(3) public information from the sex offender registry as defined in Article 7, Title 23.

(C) Subsection (B) does not preclude an action against an owner of real estate who makes intentional misrepresentations in response to direct inquiry from a purchaser or prospective purchaser with regard to psychological effects or stigmas associated with the real estate.

HISTORY: 2002 Act No. 336, Section 2.

Section 40-57-740. (A) No cause of action may arise against an owner of real estate or licensed real estate agent of a party to a transaction for failure to disclose in a transaction:
(1) that the subject real estate is or was occupied by an individual who was infected with a virus or another disease which has been determined by medical evidence as being highly unlikely to be transmitted through occupancy of a dwelling place either presently or previously occupied by the infected individual;
(2) that the death of an occupant of a property has occurred or the manner of the death;
(3) any off-site condition or hazard that does not directly impact the property being transferred; or
(4) any psychological impact that has no material impact on the physical condition of the property being transferred.
(B) Nothing in subsection (A) precludes an action against an owner of real estate or agent of the owner who makes intentional misrepresentations in response to direct inquiry from a buyer or prospective buyer with regard to psychological impacts, offsite conditions, or stigmas associated with the real estate.

Posted by : Byron King on 10/30/18 (This information is only accurate as of 10/30/18. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 10/30/18 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at screaltors.org)

By |2018-10-30T10:12:42+00:00October 30th, 2018|Legal FAQs|0 Comments

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