If buying or selling a home in Houston/Harris County Texas is in your future, you're likely well versed the entire process from the initial offer to closing. But are you aware that disclosing a death in the home may be required? Here's what you need to know.
Property Disclosure Documents
No matter how perfect a house looks on the outside, there is often property information a buyer needs to disclose before the sale can go through. Property disclosure documents reveal known structural issues, neighborhood nuisances, hazards, HOA details, water damage, notable repairs made to the home and death in the home.
Rules for reporting a death in the home vary by state, and variations in rules may include:
- Timeframe: When the death occurred.
- How the person passed away: If the death occurred naturally versus due to negligence on the property.
- Hauntings: If the seller has knowledge that the property is being haunted by the dead.
So what are the rules in Texas Here are the details:
Under Texas law, a seller or seller's agent has no duty to disclose a death from natural causes, suicide, or an accident unrelated to the property's condition (Texas Property Code 5008[c]).This includes a murder that predates
the seller's possession of the property if the seller is aware of it.
For a state-by-state guide on disclosure laws we recommend.
For a state by state guide on disclosure laws we recommend visiting this resource on Nolo.com.
Remediating After a Death in a Home
If a death recently occurred in the home you're hoping to purchase, there may have been biohazards from bloodborne pathogens that required remediation. Consider asking the seller how the death was remediated to ensure proper steps were taken. Remediation processes may vary depending on the location of the death, how the death occurred, types of flooring, and if the death was undiscovered for days or weeks.
Bio-One technicians are trained and equipped to properly disinfect biohazards from bloodborne pathogens, and we ensure safe biohazard material handling and disposal. Once the entire area is cleaned of blood and body fluids, we also help property owners restore the location to its pre-incident state.
If you are selling a home and need a biohazard remediated or want to ensure remediation was done correctly, give Bio-One a call. Our experts not only contain and disinfect the dangerous biological materials, we carry out our work in a caring and private manner.
Crime Scene Cleaning