Seller and Brokers Must Disclose Burglaries in Neighborhood Homes

Question: After we purchased our Sun City home we learned from neighbors that our home had been burglarized at least three times in the preceding eight months, plus there had been several burglaries at other homes in our neighborhood. We are elderly people, and had we known of these burglaries we would not have purchased our home. The money we paid for our home went to the seller, the seller’s listing broker, and the broker that represented us. Shouldn’t someone have told us about these burglaries? If so, how do we calculate our damages?

Answer: First, sellers and brokers in Arizona have no obligation to disclose to a buyer that a burglary, or other felony such as a murder or sexual assault, has occurred in the home. A.R.S. § 32-2156. For burglaries or other felonies that have occurred in neighboring homes, however, disclosure to a buyer could be required if the type and number of burglaries of neighboring homes was abnormal compared to similar neighborhoods. Finally, your damages for the nondisclosure would be the diminution in value (“DIV”) of your home because you now must disclose to buyers these burglaries of neighboring homes. An appraiser with experience in DIV appraisals should be contacted to determine the DIV of your home.

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