A prospective tenant learns from a neighbor that the former tenant was infected with the HIV virus. The prospective tenant contacts the property manager to inquire about whether this is true. Is the property manager required to disclose such information?

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  • A prospective tenant learns from a neighbor that the former tenant was infected with the HIV virus. The prospective tenant contacts the property manager to inquire about whether this is true. Is the property manager required to disclose such information?

No. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits agents from making unsolicited disclosures concerning whether sellers or property occupants have tested positive for HIV or have been diagnosed with AIDS. Additionally, the Texas Real Estate Licensing Act (TRELA) states that licensees shall have no duty to inquire about, make a disclosure related to, or release information related to whether a previous or current occupant of real property had, may have had, has or may have AIDS, HIV-related illness or HIV infection.

The National Association of REALTORS® provides guidance on how to respond to an inquiry like this and suggests stating: “It is the policy of our firm not to answer inquiries of this nature one way or the other since the firm feels that this information is not material to the transaction. In addition, any type of response by me or other agents of our firm may be a violation of the federal fair housing laws. If you believe that this information is relevant to your decision to buy/rent the property, you must pursue this investigation on your own.”

Source: TAR

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