Are Texas Sellers Required to Disclose Bodies in the Yard?
There are cases where someone buys a property in Texas, only to discover there are bodies in the backyard. Older homesteads in Texas frequently had family burial plots on them. In many cases, those plots were never officially named a "cemetery".
Once land is dedicated to a cemetery in Texas, the land becomes frozen in time. It cannot be developed. The property owners cannot desecrate or change the land in any way that disturbs interred remains. Likewise, the property owners cannot restrict access to the burial plot for the descendants of those who may be buried there.
According to 2014 Texas Realtors Chairman, Dan Hatfield, "If you have a cemetary, no matter how old it is, you need to disclose to whoever is buying it any pertinent information.Let them know if anyone has ever asked to see the grave, because the buyer would ned to grant permission for the family to access it."
In Texas, a seller would be required to disclose graves under a yard or on the property in the state. That can only happen if the seller knows. Chances are, if they don't know, then no one has ever asked to visit the gravesite and it should not pose any problems.
Unless you just can't bare the idea.
As creepy as living in a graveyard might be to some people, it can be very costly to learn there is a cemetary in your yard. For example, let's say that you hire someone with a bulldozer to clear the property and unknowingly damage a hidden burial site. You could face fines or lawsuits.
While it is possible that there are bodies buried under your yard or on your property, in San Angelo it is highly unlikely. The city has records going back to the city's founding and beyond, documenting where burial sites are located.
As for deaths inside a house, a seller is under no obligation under Texas law to disclose that. If it were recent, however, you can bet the neighbors will be more than willing to volunteer the information.
It is always possible that a murder victim or stillborn is buried in your yard. In this case, perhaps ignorance is bliss, att least until you start hearing unexplained bumps in the night and ghost hunters start ringing your doorbell.
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