When you rent out property to tenants, you have a responsibility to inform them of certain information, such as problems or defects on the property. The act of sharing this information with prospective tenants is a disclosure. 

If someone has died on the property, is this a fact that you have to disclose to tenants? California law says yes, but only under certain circumstances. 

Material fact 

According to SF Gate, a material fact is one that could negatively influence a potential tenant’s decision to rent the property. Generally speaking, you cannot withhold material facts from prospective tenants in the hope of manipulating their decision. The law protects the right of the tenant to take legal action if he or she finds out after renting that you had knowledge of a material fact and failed to disclose it. 

Time limit 

California law regards a death on your property as a material fact, but only within the first three years of its occurrence. This means that you have to disclose any deaths on the property that happened three years ago or less. However, you do not have to disclose a death that occurred more than three years ago. 

Cause of death 

California makes an exception if the cause of death was acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The law prohibits you from disclosing an AIDS-related death because it would be discriminatory against someone with a disability. 

Tenant questions 

Although the law does not require you to disclose certain deaths, if a tenant asks you if there have been deaths on the property, it requires you to respond truthfully to the question. 

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