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Tuesday
Jan082013

Who Gives a Shit: Should Landlords Disclose a Recent Death in the Apartment to prospective tenants?

Because there are so many old buildings in Park Slope, there's a pretty good chance that of the thousands of tenants that came before you, one of them kicked the bucket within the walls of the place you call home. Whether or not the souls of the dead haunt your 100 year-old cast iron clawfoot tubs isn't the real question here, though. It's whether a landlord should disclose the information to prospective tenants when the previous one has JUST passed away inside the apartment. We recently received this email from a loyal FiPS reader who wonders the same thing about a unit in her own building:

About a month ago, a young woman in my apartment building passed away in her bed. Her friends hadn't heard from her in a few days, so they sent the police by to break in and check on her. I think she had been deceased for a few days when they found her. Her roommate quickly moved out, and the apartment is up for rent. Will the landlord have to disclose to the new tenants that the previous tenant passed away inside the apartment only a month earlier? I feel like it would be weird meeting the new tenants if they didn't know about the incident, but the rest of the building did. I can't imagine that legally the landlord will have to disclose the information, but from a moral sense shouldn't he? I know I wouldn't rent the place if I knew that someone had just died there.

What do you guys think? 

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