of the week
Question of the week

Curious. Interesting. Informative.

18 September 2020

Beneath the surface

Sale, Purchase, Mortgage, Lease
New South Wales


Conveyancing – Death on property

A client wants to sell their house. They revealed that a family member had drowned in their pool. Does this have to be disclosed to prospective purchasers by either the vendors or their agent?

If there is no disclosure and the purchasers find out about the death after exchange, can they pull out of the contract?


Thank you for the question.

There is no specific disclosure requirement for such matters.

Agents must not mislead or deceive parties in a transaction: see Schedule 1 of the Property and Stock Agents Regulation 2014. Similar consumer law regulation arises from the Australian Consumer Law.

In the event a court finds the vendor’s agent has misled or deceived the purchaser then the purchaser will likely be able to void the contract. Each matter turns on its own facts. See the Victorian case of Charles Lloyd Property Group Pty Ltd v Buchanan [2013] VSC 148 where it was found that non-disclosure of death on a property was not misleading or deceptive.