ISSUE:

The purchase contract has just been signed, and the sale of the home is scheduled to close in thirty days. The listing agent has now learned that the seller has just recovered from swine flu. Does the listing agent have the obligation to disclose to the buyer that the seller had swine flu?

ANSWER:

Probably not. A.R.S. §32-2156(A)(2) protects a seller and the real estate licensees from failing to disclose HIV/AIDS or “any other disease that is not known to be transmitted through common occupancy of real estate.” This statute probably applies to the disclosure of swine flu because transmittal of the swine flu virus by the touching of an object, such as a table or door knob, can only last up to eight hours. After the closing of a sale transaction, very rarely is the buyer in the home within eight hours after the seller has vacated the home. Therefore, swine flu is a disease that probably cannot be “transmitted through common occupancy of real estate.” See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.