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Real Estate

Agency, sellers sued for not disclosing double homicide

A couple has sued a Toronto area real estate firm and agent and the home's former owners for failing to disclose early enough in the transaction that the home had been the scene of a double homicide 15 years ago.

Homeowners Eric and Sade-Lea Tekoniemi claim that the murders have "stigmatized, psychologically impacted, and tainted the property," according to the lawsuit. Sade-Lea Tekoniemi alleges she has suffered depression and sleep and mood disorder from the horrific images in her mind from the murders that took place in the home.

The couple is seeking $450,000 in damages. They say they want to sell the home but are looking to recover some of the depreciation in the home's value since the disclosure had not been made to them.

The couple said they wanted to cancel the sale of the home as soon as they learned about the home's history. However, the couple said at the time their lawyer advised them it was too late to cancel the sale without standing to lose too much financially already in the deal.

The house was the scene of a double homicide in 1996, in which Ron England, who had paranoid schizophrenia, murdered his mother and six-year-old stepdaughter by stabbing them to death multiple times.
The couple has sued RE/MAX First Realty, agent Mary Roy, and the former homeowners, who had purchased the home following the double homicide. The real estate firm and agent have yet to comment on the pending case.

"Lawyers say the case involves a grey area in common law on the issue of 'duty to disclose' - and how to assess what information that entails," The Toronto Star reported.

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