Can You Sue Someone for Selling You a Haunted House? Believe it or not, I get asked this question quite often as a real estate agent.
In Michigan, a buyer may be able to sue a seller if they were not properly informed of any material defects in the property, including the belief or knowledge of the house being haunted.
Under Michigan law, sellers are required to disclose any known material defects in the property (and this goes for For Sale By Owner or FSBO properties too). Material defects are defined as conditions that would have a significant impact on the value of the property or that would make the property unsafe or uninhabitable. So, if a seller has knowledge that the house is haunted and they did not disclose this information to the buyer, the buyer may be able to sue the seller for not disclosing this information.
However, it’s worth noting that, in order for a buyer to successfully sue a seller, they must be able to prove that the seller had actual knowledge of the haunted house and failed to disclose it to the buyer. Additionally, the buyer must be able to prove that the haunted house qualifies as a material defect, and that the defect caused them some form of harm or financial loss.
It’s also important to keep in mind that, for a lawsuit to happen, the ghostly activity has to be real and provable by some means, and not just a belief or anecdotal stories.
In any case, it’s best practice for sellers to be transparent and disclose any known material defects or issues, including possible paranormal activity, even though it might not be legally required, to avoid potential legal repercussions. And for buyers it is wise to conduct their own due diligence and research before buying a property, if they are concerned about the potential paranormal activity.
Zillow has put together a great state by state information on court decisions related to paranormal activity and the statutory language. Click here to check it out.
Although not a “haunted house” per se, you may be interested in learning more about the interesting case of the house on Gull Island in Northport. Click here for more on that!