QUERIN LAW: Oregon’s Safety Laws Affecting Residential Sales; Sex Offenders

Caution SignMegan’s Law.  Megan’s Law was enacted in 1996 after seven-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a sexual predator.  It requires the registration of sex offenders, and public notification of private and personal information regarding registered sex offenders.In Oregon, the laws are found here.  Oregon’s Sex Offender Inquiry System is found here: http://sexoffenders.oregon.gov/.

However, ORS 696.880 provides that an Oregon real estate licensee does not have a duty to disclose to a potential purchaser of residential property that a sex offender registered under Oregon’ version of Megan’s Law resides in the area. For more information, go to my article here.

Matters Deemed “Not Material” to Real Property Transactions. ORS 93.275 provides that the following incidents are not material facts to real property transactions:

  • The fact or suspicion that the real property or a neighboring property was the site of a death by violent crime, by suicide or by any other manner;
  • The fact or suspicion that the real property or a neighboring property was the site of a crime, political activity, religious activity or any other act or occurrence that does not adversely affect the physical condition of or title to real property;
  • The fact or suspicion that an owner or occupant of the real property has or had human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
  • The fact or suspicion that a registered sex offender resides in the area; and
  • The fact that a notice has been received that a neighboring property has been determined to be not fit for use under ORS 453.876 (e.g. because it was once used as an illegal drug manufacturing site).

Practice Tip: This does not mean that, if asked, a real estate broker or other seller representative is permitted to lie.  However, buyers should be advised of the need to exercise their own due diligence on these issues.  For the most comprehensive source in the Portland-Metro area, go to Portland Maps. ~PCQ