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Difficult to rent SFH with sex offender across street?

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Marian Smith

Real Estate Investor from Williamson County, Texas

Nov 09 '12, 09:04 AM


I just found out the lady across the street has a son who is a registered sex offender living with her. The current tenants haven't said anything but I am wondering what I will be up against when the tenants leave? The property is in the bottom price range for the area, which should help. Any guesses on how much longer it will take to rent or if I will have to lower the rate?



Jon Klaus Verified Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Garland, Texas

Nov 10 '12, 04:42 AM


It may not take any longer time to rent, because many tenants will not check so they won't know.

Also, in my area the public records show the risk level of the offender. There is one near one of my rentals classified as low risk. It's never come up with my tenants.



Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545
Website: http://www.sellpropertyfast.com


John Chapman

Real Estate Investor from Dallas, Texas

Nov 10 '12, 05:40 AM
1 vote


I've got to agree with Jon K. I'm in the same area and if you ever look at one of the maps that tracks this stuff it's amazing how many registered offenders there are everywhere, particularly in the neighborhoods at lower price points. I've got to believe most tenants just don't check on this stuff.



Marian Smith

Real Estate Investor from Williamson County, Texas

Nov 10 '12, 05:43 AM


Thanks. So you don't disclose it? The database says this guy served 5 years and is moderate risk. Victim 17 yr old, but he was 30+ ---and that doesn't mean younger are not at risk.

I keep putting myself in the place of a tenant and I am disgusted everytime I look at the house. Oh, well. The mother's pretty old, maybe she'll sell and move to assissted living.



Rob K

Real Estate Investor from Michigan

Nov 10 '12, 05:51 AM
1 vote


Originally posted by Marian Smith:
Thanks. So you don't disclose it?

I wouldn't say anything about it. It's up to the tenant to check the neighborhood, including the sex offender list.

I always try to talk about the positive aspects of a house and leave out the negatives. Also, sometimes you need to turn the negative into a positve. For example, if the house is on a main road, you can tell the people that, "In the wintertime, your street will be plowed first."

If anyone does mention the sex offender, ask them where they can live where there are no sex offenders. Also, you can say, "If he was a threat to society, he'd still be in prison." It sounds a lot better than, "You are going to live right across the street from a creepy pedophile and he's probably looking at us through the blinds right now." Sometimes, it's all in how you present things.



Jon Klaus Verified Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Garland, Texas

Nov 10 '12, 05:54 AM


Marian, why don't you offer to buy the neighbor's house?



Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545
Website: http://www.sellpropertyfast.com


Bryan A. Donor

Real Estate Investor from Charlotte, North Carolina

Nov 10 '12, 09:34 AM


agree with everything said above...i wouldn't worry too much about it..look up yor address..i woudln't be surprised if you find a few nearyou as well



Bryan A., Carolinas Revitalization, LLC
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Mark H.

SFR Investor from Phoenix, Arizona

Nov 10 '12, 09:44 AM


Be aware that those lists can be less than worthless as well.

I used to live in a 16 unit apartment years ago - I checked the list after living there over a year, and found that there were three offenders that listed that complex as their residence - none actually lived there.

Really creepy and unfair for the actual tenants in those units who had no connection what-so-ever to the offenders.



Steve Babiak

Real Estate Investor from Audubon, Pennsylvania

Nov 10 '12, 10:41 AM


Originally posted by Rob K:
... For example, if the house is on a main road, you can tell the people that, "In the wintertime, your street will be plowed first."

...

I have two houses on a street that gets plowed first when it snows - and it is not a busy street. The plow driver lives on the street, and he even lives directly across from one of my houses :)

I ALWAYS mention that benefit to potential tenants!



Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Karen Margrave Moderator

Developer from Orange County, California

Nov 10 '12, 01:20 PM
1 vote


If I knew a sex offender was living across the street, I'd definitely disclose it to any potential tenants that have kids, or have kids visit their home. How would you feel if you didn't disclose it and he attacked a child living in your home? Aside from that, I'm sure there would be a huge liability and lawsuit due to the fact you withheld the information.

If it were just looking at the map for offenders and they were shown on your street, but you didn't know they actually still lived there, that's one thing, however; when you KNOW that one lives across the street, that's a different story. DISCLOSE IT.



Medium_tmg2Karen Margrave, The Margrave Group
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 949-933-3955
Website: http://www.themargravegroup.com
Licensed Brokers & General Contractors R.E. Developers (Parlay Investments). Orange County CA


Rob K

Real Estate Investor from Michigan

Nov 10 '12, 01:37 PM
1 vote


[b]

Originally posted by Karen M.:
If I knew a sex offender was living across the street, I'd definitely disclose it to any potential tenants that have kids, or have kids visit their home. How would you feel if you didn't disclose it and he attacked a child living in your home? Aside from that, I'm sure there would be a huge liability and lawsuit due to the fact you withheld the information.

If it were just looking at the map for offenders and they were shown on your street, but you didn't know they actually still lived there, that's one thing, however; when you KNOW that one lives across the street, that's a different story. DISCLOSE IT.

Why is it our job as landlords to protect the public from creeps? If the neighbor is so dangerous that we have to guard kids from him, why isn't he in prison?

Also, how would a landlord get sued for not disclosing this if the offender did attack your tenant's children? That wouldn't be your fault. I would think the sex offender would get sued along with the state for releasing him.

I have a rental house where there's a methadone clinic down the street. I don't disclose this. What if an addict breaks into my tenant's house and steals to buy drugs? Would that be my fault for not disclosing this fact? What if the neighbor wears a wife beater and is on parole for beating up women? Should I tell every single woman that wants to rent from me that there is a criminal living accross the street? I have a house that is walking distance from train tracks. Every few hours, an Amtrack train blows through at about 70 mph. It's very loud. I don't mention this. My tenant told me that it's very annoying, but they soon got used to it.

I think the OP would have a very difficult time renting the house if every potential tenant knew there was a sex offender accross the street.



James H.

SFR Investor from Texas

Nov 10 '12, 05:20 PM


dont turn a molehill that is not even a molehill into a mountain.



Kyle J. Donor

Real Estate Investor from Northern, California

Nov 10 '12, 05:32 PM


There is no legal obligation to disclose it, so I wouldn't worry about getting sued. My lease has a clause that informs the tenant that it is their responsibility to learn about "neighborhood conditions", including the proximity of registered offenders. I don't even look it up myself. Like others have mentioned though, they are everywhere. You'd probably be surprised.



McKellar Newsom

Landlord from Chattanooga, Tennessee

Nov 10 '12, 07:45 PM
2 votes


I had a rental with a sex offender living across the street. I learned everything I could about the history of the guy living there. I talked to his public counselor, the attorney and the cop handling the case. It turned out the guy had molested his daughter and granddaughter and was pretty low risk.

We had a family with a daughter moving into the house. I told the family about the guy. I have to sleep at night. mck



McKellar Newsom,
Telephone: 423-902-8558
McKellar Newsom 423-902-8558 [email protected]


James H.

SFR Investor from Texas

Nov 11 '12, 07:46 AM
1 vote


So where do you draw the line?

Across the street?
Next door?
1, 2, 3 houses down?
Backing the house on the next street?



Rob K

Real Estate Investor from Michigan

Nov 11 '12, 08:03 AM


Originally posted by Brian Hoyt:
So where do you draw the line?

Across the street?
Next door?
1, 2, 3 houses down?
Backing the house on the next street?

I was wondering the same thing. Also, it's not my job as a landlord to protect the public. I don't have a badge.

What if there's a pitbull across the street? Do you disclose that too? What if your tenant has a baby and the pitbull gets loose and rips the child's face off? Should I have disclosed that a vicious dog was across the street?

My responsibility is for my square of America that is within the lot lines of my property. Whatever is outside of those lot lines happens to be out of my control.



Bill G.

Real Estate Investor from Springfield, Missouri

Nov 11 '12, 08:29 AM


A LL is not required to disclose issues unrealted to the property. Karen gets a little carried away, where would you draw the line, the next block down, 2 miles away......really now....

Just because someone got nailed as a SO is no reason to go off the edge. There is a difference between some 19 year old guy with his 17 year old girl friend getting in trouble and some 59 year old perv.

At 30, I'd still wonder about the circumstances, some at 17 look, act and carry on (and lie) as older women who may work the street or a bar parking lot. Just saying I'd want to know the circumstances before getting excited about it. If he snatched her off the street and violated her, he would have gotten more than 5 years, sounds like there was more to it. And no, I'm not some Akin type suggesting it was her fault.

I doubt you'll have rental trouble, such is getting common in some lower end areas.



Tim Delp

Real Estate Investor from Jacksonville, Florida

Nov 11 '12, 08:46 AM


I don't think it will present a problem. As one poster mentioned put your address in the website that lists sex offenders and there are probably some within reasonable distance of your own house so it will be nearly impossible to avoid this issue entirely.



Karen Margrave Moderator

Developer from Orange County, California

Nov 11 '12, 02:40 PM


@Bill G. is correct, I do take the safety of tenants and kids to an extreme. The poster said the guy was living with his mother, the question is, is he actually registered? I simply suggested if anyone with kids, etc. were looking at his property, he should tell them about the pervert across the street, and allow them to make a decision.

Everyone has to live with themselves and figure out where they draw the line on these issues. I once had a group of counselors that "treated" sex offenders wanting to rent office space in our office park. I told them not under any circumstances. It works for me. Just because people are on the streets, doesn't in any way mean they are safe to be around, and you're fooling yourself if you believe that.



Medium_tmg2Karen Margrave, The Margrave Group
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 949-933-3955
Website: http://www.themargravegroup.com
Licensed Brokers & General Contractors R.E. Developers (Parlay Investments). Orange County CA


Bill G.

Real Estate Investor from Springfield, Missouri

Nov 11 '12, 03:59 PM


Yes Karen, I do to, to the extent I can control things. Just saying, not everyone that gets tagged with the scarlet letter is really an evil perv. Some law and order show had some guy giving testimony as an expert, then it was pointed out he had been convited of sex crimes, turned out he was 19 and his girlfriend was 17, thay later married. While that was TV, it is also the reality of a system. I'd want to knwo what the circumstances were before I began the defimation thing and made inappropriate claims.



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