How to Handle Real Estate Death Disclosures in California

An important aspect is the property death disclosures, which is essential to comply with California laws and the Federal Fair Housing Act. Through this case, we will explore how to properly handle real estate death disclosures in California.


Two years ago, a tenant died in Unit 7 of an apartment complex in California. The unit is vacant, and the owner is showing the property to a potential tenant. The landlord informs the prospective tenant that a previous tenant died in the unit two years ago due to AIDS-related complications. The owner adequately disclosed the death, but incorrectly disclosed the AIDS-related cause.

Relevant Laws in California

In California, it is mandatory disclose a death on property sell or rent if it happened in the last three years. However, if the death was from AIDS or HIV-related causes, the cause of death should not be disclosed. Under California Civil Code Section 1710.2, it is not even considered a material fact that an occupant is HIV positive or has died from AIDS-related complications.

Additional Protection Under the Fair Housing Act

The federal Fair Housing Act of 1988 classified being affected by AIDS (or being HIV positive) as a disability. Because this condition is considered a disability, disclosure is considered discrimination against disabled people and violates federal fair housing laws.

Important Things to Remember

Disclosure of a death at a property is legally required in California for both sales and rentals, as long as the death occurred within the last three years. Disclosure of other causes of death is legally permitted. A death at a property offered for sale or rental must be disclosed if it occurred within the last three years, not the last year. Importantly, even when a death occurred more than three years ago, a landlord and agent are not allowed to lie in response to a direct question.


Handling disclosure of property deaths is crucial to complying with California and federal fair housing laws. This case demonstrates the importance of understanding when and how to disclose a death on property and when not to. It is essential to be aware of these regulations to provide professional and ethical service to clients.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

Related news

1 thought on “Cómo Manejar los Disclosures de Muertes en Bienes Raíces en California”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your FREE guide

Enter your email so we can send you your guide

Secure your space in our webinar.

Don't worry if you can't attend: we'll send you the recording!