If selling or buying a home 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? The rules vary by state. 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:
To be more specific, here are three death disclosure examples as stated from experts or articles based in Texas, New Jersey, and California:
For a state by state guide on disclosure laws we recommend visiting this resource on Nolo.com.
How to Search Property Records
If you'd like to do your own sleuthing and search property records, look no further than DiedInHouse.com. Founded in 2013, this website promises to instantly search millions of records to determine if a death has occurred at any valid U.S. address.
In a 2015 interview with Forbes.com, founder Roy Condrey stated, "I went online to find a ‘Carfax’ of sorts for deaths in homes and I didn’t find anything, but I did find pages and pages of people asking if there’s a way to find out if their house is haunted."
The service isn't free, though. Once you enter an address, you're prompted to pay a minimum of $11.99 for a single search. The report will, however, provide a number of property records including meth labs, fire, death, and registered sex offender information.
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. Find a Bio-One team near you.
Bio-One teams across the U.S. answer calls to help their communities and remediate a variety of scenes. In our new blog series, we'd like to bring you into the Bio-One world by sharing stories of the unique and important work we do for local communities.
Here is Week 1 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up.
Homeless Encampment Clean-Up - Temecula, CA
On the west coat, the Bio-One team was called by the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce to safely decontaminate an area outside their office. With homelessness on the rise, there is in increase of biohazardous waste that is sadly starting to accumulate in zones of our cities.
While Bio-One teams have been actively remediating homeless encampments for decades, we just refreshed this information on our Bio-One website. View it here.
"We are actively looking for partnerships to help keep our cities clean and safe for children and families." - Jason and William, Bio-One Owners
COVID-19 Disinfection to Raise Money for Local Police Sgt. - Asheville, NC
In the fall of 2020, it was announced that Jax, the 3 year-old son of Sgt. Jordan Warren at the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Sgt. Warren has served the community in Henderson County for 10 years, and the community has rallied on his behalf by donating thousands of dollars for the family in their time of need.
To help raise money, the Bio-One team in Asheville raffled off a COVID-19 disinfection, up to 5,000 sqft for any home or business. The raffle ran through January 2021 and raised over $600. This week, the team happily treated the winner, Strong Hand Fitness, to the disinfection.
"Police officers and their families make big sacrifices to serve their community, most of which go unseen. So, when first responder families are in need, we want to help anyway we can. We wish the entire Warren family the best as Jax continues his fight." - Matt Gregg, Bio-One Owner
Cat Rescue - Flagstaff, Arizona
In January, the Bio-One team in Flagstaff answered the call to remediate an unattended death. They learned from the next of kin that a husband had passed away in the home while his wife, at the time, was fighting for her life at the local hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Once the team arrived, it was clear this would be a multi-day job. Not only was there a biohazard to remediate, but the home was hoarded and restoring the home to a safe environment was an urgent need. While working, the Bio-One crew identified three cats lingering in and around the home. Initially, it was assumed one cat was owned by the family, and the other two were part of the neighborhood. The first cat, nicknamed Hunter, was given to the Ark Cat Sanctuary for a checkup and to eventually find a new home. In the spirit of kindness, the team also provided food and water for the other two neighborhood cats when working onsite.
Several weeks passed, and the Bio-One team received word that the wife had sadly lost her life due to complications from COVID-19. The next of kin asked the team to revisit the home and remove remaining items. Shortly after work began, the two neighborhood cats were found. It was then revealed that the two animals were owned by the deceased couple. After living off the land for months, they were rescued by the Bio-One team and turned over to the Ark Cat Sanctuary for care. We hope each animal finds a loving home.
"We are very fortunate that our staff and owners have a heart for animals and will do whatever they can to help the pets like we do our clients." - Rebecca Wallace, Bio-One Owner