Do renters care if someone died where they live?

13 Replies

Hey BP! I am looking at a BRRRR opportunity for a C class house in a C class neighborhood. It should meet the 70% Rule and the 1% Rule. However I learned that the previous owner committed suicide in the house. Does anyone have opinions on how this will affect the sellability and rentability of this house? Also, I understand that it must be disclosed when selling. Is it safe to assume that it also must be disclosed when renting? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Hi @Christopher Spear , my "correction needed" alert went off and I had to chime in:

It is not true that you must disclose a death in the home.  There is nuance here and it is highly dependent on your state's individual rules.  There may be a limit to the time since death, the cause of death, or even WHEN disclosure is required. 

For example, in my state it is not required UNLESS a buyer asks.  It's VERY unclear if it would be required to disclosure to a tenant at all, unless they specifically asked.

So, consult a savvy RE attorney, investor, or PM in your state to find out if there is a disclosure requirement for this scenario.

In Texas you are not required to if it is certain kinds of deaths. The best I can summarize it is if it was not a violent death you do not have to disclose it. You do not even have to disclose suicide in Texas from what I read. They consider that a natural death.

Thanks for all of your thoughts! I imagine it comes down to each individual, but would you all personally be comfortable buying (as your primary residence) or renting a home if you learned that a previous owner took their own life in it? I think this would otherwise be a good purchase; I'm just trying to figure out if the stigma attached is a deal breaker...

From my experience, prospective tenants only seem concerned if someone was murdered in the home. Any other kind of death didn't seem to bother them. 

Do renters care if someone died where they live?

Depends - Was it a roommate?

Seriously, you should check, but sometimes you have to disclose that on a sale (if asked - Which has to be a weird conversation), but don't know about rentals.  Sometimes, you CANNOT disclose (eg they died of AIDS).

How did you learn that the previous owner committed suicide in the house? Neighbors? Seller told you? Remember it from the news?

I personally wouldn't let a death in a home affect my purchase decision but I can see how it would be looked at differently by some.

There's a small commercial building (converted house) in my town where a young woman was murdered and that thing has been slowly falling apart as it's been on the market for years and doesn't sell. It was a highly publicized event.

Originally posted by @John Teachout :

How did you learn that the previous owner committed suicide in the house? Neighbors? Seller told you? Remember it from the news?

I personally wouldn't let a death in a home affect my purchase decision but I can see how it would be looked at differently by some.

There's a small commercial building (converted house) in my town where a young woman was murdered and that thing has been slowly falling apart as it's been on the market for years and doesn't sell. It was a highly publicized event.

On that house that is slowly falling apart have you considered seeing if the seller would finance it to you at super terms? Then you could rent it out to someone for below market while the stigma slowly left.

@Christopher Spear most people will care but some won’t. You already know you need to disclose and it just depends on the asking rent. If you get no apps then you are priced too high and will need to lower the rent until you get the right tenet. Good luck!

Originally posted by @Joe S. :
Originally posted by @John Teachout:

How did you learn that the previous owner committed suicide in the house? Neighbors? Seller told you? Remember it from the news?

I personally wouldn't let a death in a home affect my purchase decision but I can see how it would be looked at differently by some.

There's a small commercial building (converted house) in my town where a young woman was murdered and that thing has been slowly falling apart as it's been on the market for years and doesn't sell. It was a highly publicized event.

On that house that is slowly falling apart have you considered seeing if the seller would finance it to you at super terms? Then you could rent it out to someone for below market while the stigma slowly left.

The property is commercially zoned on a busy highway and isn't something that fits our SFR model.