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Real Estate Disclosures in Iowa

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on January 26, 2012 at 3:22:21 pm
 

See Iowa Code: 558A.4 Required information.

This section pertains to the disclosure statement and what information it shall include to the condition and characteristics of the property and structures located on the property. 

There is no requirement to disclose the real or perceived occurrences of ghosts, hauntings, paranormal activity, murder, suicide, or other stigmatized event. 

 

The Iowa buyer's Guide published by the Iowa Association of Realtors says that "In Iowa, certain social conditions that may be of concern to buyers are considered not to be "material" by state law. Iowa Code 543B.5 (15). Ordinarily, "material facts" must be disclosed by the seller or seller's agent. Because state law declares certain facts that may be important to a buyer to be not material, buyers cannot rely on the seller disclosing this kind of information. Buyers should undertake their own investigation if concerned that the property or a neighboring property has been the site of a death, crime, political activity, religious activity, or any other act or occurrence that does not adversely affect the physical condition of, or title to, real property, including that a convicted sex offender resides in the area. Concerned buyers can contact their local county sheriff's office for more information regarding sex offenders."

 

While it does not appear such information is required to be disclosed, sellers may want to disclose such information to prospective buyers as there could still be legal issues if the buyer is dissatisfied with the nondisclosure. 

 

A bill was filed in the Iowa General Assembly in 1997. House File 670: Bill introduced HJ 633. It was to be in section 558A.4A. It never became law. The bill was an attempt to clarify that "psychologically impacted" real estate is not a material adverse fact that must be disclosed. "The fact that real estate, or any building or structure on such real estate, may be, or is suspected to be, psychologically impacted real estate, or may be in close proximity to psychologically impacted real estate, is not a material adverse fact that is required to be disclosed in a sale, exchange, rental, or other transfer of such real estate. For purposes of this section, "psychologically impacted real estate" means real estate where an event has occurred including, but not limited to, any of the following:

  1. the death or suicide of an individual
  2. a forcible felony, as defined in section 702.11, which is an assault, murder, robbery, or sexual abuse
  3. a newsworthy event which impacts the property as a result of the notoriety of the event
    1. "psychologically impacted real estate" also includes real estate which is allegedly haunted.
    2.  

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