Difficult to rent SFH with sex offender across street?

Buying & Selling Real Estate Discussion 188.5K Posts 25.9K Discussions

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?

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 | [email protected] | 214‑929‑6545

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.

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.

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.

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

Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast | [email protected] | 214‑929‑6545

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 | [email protected] | 704‑905‑6510 | http://www.facebook.com/carolinasrevitalization

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.

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!

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 tmg  1 Karen Margrave, The Margrave Group #00636992 | [email protected] | 949‑933‑3955 | http://www.themargravegroup.com

[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.

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

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.

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

So where do you draw the line?

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

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.

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.

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

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.

@Bill Gulley 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 tmg  1 Karen Margrave, The Margrave Group #00636992 | [email protected] | 949‑933‑3955 | http://www.themargravegroup.com

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.

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

Originally posted by Bill Gulley:
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.

I actually know someone with this exact situation. I guess everyone who is REALLY concerned about this must check the sex offender list to see if there is anything to disclose whenever a unit turns over...(not).

I know I'll be looking for reasons to turn quality tenants away. While I'm at it, I will download all the violent crime stats and burglaries that occur in the neighborhood and post it along with the listing (that is available in GIS map form from the City website for most medium to big cities)...

Seriously, this stuff is rampant. I can't even find a single street without at least one registered sex offender in most neighborhoods I have looked at even to live in myself. Give me a break.

I'd be more concerned if he was next door than across the street.

@Bill Gulley I hate that they consider kids that do sexting, and guys over 18 w/girlfriend 16 or 17 sex offenders, it's ridiculous, and really needs to be changed.

However; I just remember so many of the stories out of Florida where the guys were living across the street and snatched the little girl and killed her, or took her out of her bedroom window.

Anyway, I digress. I'd err on the side of caution and disclose it.

Medium tmg  1 Karen Margrave, The Margrave Group #00636992 | [email protected] | 949‑933‑3955 | http://www.themargravegroup.com

Thanks for your advice. It sounds like I shouldn't have trouble renting because most people don't check. The guy is unkempt with long hair, so his appearance should warn normal people to keep their distance, like a bright colored snake. I will decide whether to disclose when I have to make the decision--I am sure I would disclose to a family with girls, but probably not anyone else.

Originally posted by Marian Smith:
... I would disclose to a family with girls, but probably not anyone else.

You're assuming a heterosexual preference, which is not always the case ...