Aids Paranoia Strikes Real Estate Industry / State Realtors Review Decision by Texas Association to Advise Homebuyers on Aids

Article excerpt

was recognized as a disease 10 years ago, the fear of contamination has outdistanced the spread of the disease itself. Paranoia about AIDS has entered classrooms, offices, churches, and now, the real estate industry.

Recent news accounts show that the Texas Association of Realtors has advised its membership that failure to disclose information regarding an AIDS victim's occupancy of a house to potential buyers, just like an unreported structural defect, could result in lawsuits.

According to one account, the Texas association is believed to be the only Realtor's group to make a recommendation on AIDS. If the group's legal counsel has its way, that recommendation may produce follow-up legislation when the Texas Legislature reconvenes in January 1989.

So far, California is the only state to have passed legislation on the issue. Its laws prohibit real estate agents from seeking or disseminating information linking AIDS to the residential history of a dwelling.

On the local scene, the Oklahoma City Metro Board of Realtors has requested the Oklahoma Association of Realtors to take the matter under review, said Stan Orr, executive vice president of the state association.

Even if the national association does not issue a statement, "the can of worms has been opened," he said, explaining that the Texas group on one end of the spectrum and California legislation on the other forces state organizations to answer their own constituency. …

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