So you own a haunted house and you want to sell it. What does the law think about it? Well, lots of things really. But most buyers prefer to buy just a normal house. So unless you have a buyer planning to buy a haunted house, perhaps to conduct a seance or to commercialize as a haunted house, you have some serious issues to consider.
Issues in selling your haunted house
The first is whether or not the house is actually haunted. If it can be proven that the house is haunted, then the seller may need to disclose this information to potential buyers. This is especially important if the house is being sold as a result of a divorce or other legal proceeding.
Is the house generally known to be haunted, and do your neighbors know this? If so, you have to disclose this to your buyer because sooner or later, your buyer will come to know it. And if it was not disclosed early on, it will become potentially a case of misrepresentation and/or fraud through the omission of details.
Another issue that needs to be considered is whether the buyer has expressly indicated a desire to purchase a certain type of house which is suitable to children. In such situation, it is likely that the house required is not compatible with a haunted house, and you should not proceed with the sale.
The seller should be aware of any zoning regulations that may apply to the sale of a haunted house. In some cases, zoning regulations may prevent the sale of a house that is considered to be haunted.
So what is a haunted house?
A haunted house is a house where supernatural events are said to have occurred. This could include sightings of ghosts, poltergeists, or other paranormal activity. Haunted houses are often featured in horror films and ghost stories, and some people believe that they are actually haunted.
Does Malaysian law require disclosure that the house is haunted?
In actual fact, the law does not require such disclosure, and vendors are not obliged to inform their purchasers. However if the purchaser asks whether the property is haunted, the vendor must inform the purchaser of the actual situation, because any other response would be misrepresentation or a wilful omission of fact.
If the purchaser says expressly, “I don’t want to buy a haunted house”, it would be tantamount to misrepresentation for a vendor or his agent aware of it to proceed to sell the house to the purchaser.
Some people actually want to buy haunted houses
Haunted houses can eventually become a tourist attraction where a guided tour can help generate income for the owners. Others, as we have noted, want to buy a haunted house for the purpose of flipping it around. For these types of purchasers, they want to buy haunted properties, and would consider buying a non-haunted house which was marketed as haunted, as a scam.