Disclosure issues with illegal bedrooms

If fire causes death or injury, is Realtor liable?

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Dear Barry, As a Realtor, I sell a lot of older homes with basement bedrooms. Sellers often can't understand that these don't comply as legal bedrooms because the high windows restrict fire escape. My question is this: When the house is sold "as is," and the new buyers continue to use the illegal bedroom as such, is there liability for the sellers or Realtors in the event of a fire. If so, what kind of disclosure should be made? --Frank Dear Frank, All you can do is provide full disclosure of noncompliance with current fire safety standards, including the fact that the rooms cannot be legally used as bedrooms. If buyers choose to ignore such disclosure, the liability is their own. Current building codes require bedroom windows to have sills no higher than 44 inches above the floor. Additionally, window openings must be at least 5.7 square feet, with neither the height nor the width being less than 24 inches. Some basement windows can be upgraded to current standards by construct...