In this week's headlines in Australia, the topic of finding the perfect home has taken a different angle with a property that was the scene of a gruesome murder on the rental market. In 2019, Jessica Camilleri murdered her mother in the kitchen of the property in very graphic circumstances. The house is now up for rent and it has brought up a debate on social media as to if you would live in a property where such a horrible crime was committed. It also made me wonder about so-called haunted houses. Does this affect the outcome of a sale?
Image Source: News.com.au
In Australia, real estate agents are required by law to disclose details of any crime that has been committed to any potential buyers or tenants applying to rent the property. In fact, the legal clause also means that the agent must disclose if there are known hauntings in the house. It all comes down to the requirement to disclose information that is deemed important and disclose anything that could 'stigmatise' the perception of the buyer. It falls under The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). Interestingly, the agent does not need to prove the existence of a ghost or haunting, but they must disclose anything that is deemed to be important and could affect the outcome of the sale. In short, a person may not want to buy a house that a person believes is haunted, so it is information that should be presented to them. The same applies to a crime, death and anything that could cause some buyers to think twice about buying a property!
Image Source Twitter @mbloomstein
So here are a few questions for discussion. If it is not the law to disclose this sort of information where you live, should it be? While some owners would be fearful that some events could drastically reduce the selling price and may try to hide information, should they be required to disclose this kind of information? What sort of ethics and duty of care should be considered in these circumstances?
Would you live in a house where a crime was committed? Would you live in a house that was a known 'haunt'?
Cover Photo by Thirdman: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-a-woman-holding-a-home-for-sale-sign-8469937/
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