Murder at Property


So the gist of it is that a couple bought a mansion in Vancouver and it wasn’t disclosed that the person who owned it previously had been gunned down on the property because he was supposedly a Chinese triad leader. Two years after he was shot at the front gate, the house was put on the market.

The judge in this case nullified the purchase agreement because that information was not disclosed and put the family moving in at risk.

I’m not sure I agree with this decision. I don’t believe there is a requirement to disclose if someone died on or in the property and I’m not convinced there is any further risk to the family moving into the home. It was a targeted shooting which resulted in the death of the previous home owner. I see nothing to indicate there would be risk to future owners.


Yeah i dunno, i think I’d be creeped out learning something like that.


Sure but is it enough to cancel a deal?

We found out after the fact that the homeowner of our house had a heart attack and died on our stairs. I didn’t feel that needed to be disclosed.


Natural causes tho a tad icky, are not on the same grading curve as an act of violence in my scoring system.


Do you think it’s enough to legally kill a deal?


I dunno how the Canadian head thinks -



Well full disclosure has legal requirements like if there’s been a grow op or a flood or liens or strata minutes. That kind of stuff. I don’t believe it must be disclosed if someone died 2 years earlier or if previous owners were alleged criminals.

Should that be a requirement to disclose?


They shud have googled the address


I think most US states have it sorted pretty well in terms of what things must be disclosed and by whom. The National Association of Realtors also has Standards of Practice and a code of ethics that cover most everything.

If the Vancouver case you cited was in a Chicago suburb, the seller would have no duty of disclosure, nor would the seller’s agent. The buyer’s agent would be deemed to have an affirmative duty to be aware that something had happened and should encourage a buyer to research it fully before making a decision. Failing to do so would not be criminal on the agent’s part but would get him/her disciplined by the NAR if the buyer subsequently lodged a grievance. Other remedies are possible such as the NAR compensating the buyer from a special fund it has (probably not in this particular case) …or the buyer could sue the seller or either agent for damages…probably to no avail in this case.


I should have mentioned, in every state a property that has been known to have been used for cooking meth or making bombs, or any other use involving hazardous chemicals, the seller not only has an affirmative duty to disclose but also a duty to remediate via inspections and other necessary means. There are stiff criminal penalties for not doing so.

During the two decades I practiced real estate here in Podunk, there were several instances where residential proplerty would get listed for sale and every managing broker in town would bring “problem properties” up in the next office meeting to be sure all agents knew of the problem and were prepared to advise buyers accordingly if they showed them those properties.


That’s a requirement to disclose here as well.


During those two decades, we had two problem properties in particular that were more off-putting than someone dying of natural causes.

There was one yucky rape/murder of a well respected school teacher in her early forties, by a handyman she had hired. It was discovered by friends within less than 24 hours, and when her family sold the house a year later (nice house btw) they re-carpeted and re-painted…it went under contract within a few days, to a new resident transferring from out of state who of course had not known her but was fully apprised (by his agent) of the history …a good outcome all around.

In the other, a retired widowed professor killed himself in the basement of his home, actually on the basement stairs, and his corpse rotted for about a week before being discovered by neighbors. His executor had the stairs replaced with new, painted the basement including the floor, chose to fully disclose the history, and a slumlord bought the property within a couple of months to operate as a rental.


I messaged a bud that flips houses, and he concurred with norm, only things affecting the condition of property are required at sale.


This is why I don’t understand this judge’s decision.