Deaths in homes can stay secret to buyers

The Barristers Hall apartments on Georgia Ave. have become an infamous location in Macon after Mercer law student Lauren Giddings was murdered there in her apartment by her neighbor and classmate, Stephen McDaniel.

But as time passed, new students have moved in to Apartments 2 and 4.

It raises the question -- would you want to move to a house or apartment where you knew someone had been killed?

According to Georgia Law, real estate agents aren't required to disclose to buyers if someone died in a house. The law says there's no legal action against brokers for for not telling a buyer know if the home "was the site of a homicide or other felony or a suicide or a death by accidental or natural causes."

However, if a buyer asks the broker, they're required to answer truthfully to the best of their knowledge. But there's no penalty for not disclosing that information. The rules also apply to landlords and apartment rentals.

Realtor Steve Solomon says despite the rule, he always tries to tell clients as much as he knows about the property.

"If there is something that we're aware of, and it was notorious, then we would tell them," he says.

At one house on Creekside Drive in Jones County, around the same time Giddings was killed in 2011, a wife shot her husband, and then later committed suicide after bonding our of jail. New owners now live there.

Someone also bought the home on Stinsonville Road where Gail Spencer was murdered in 2012. Solomon says that owner wasn't bothered by the murder, and purchase it on foreclosure.

Follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment