Tenant allowed Convicted sex offender to reside in apartment

22 Replies

Sorry in advance for the long post.

Need advice on what to do about tenants having guests stay with them. More importantly, preventing a sexual offender from staying as a guest with a tenant.

Our current lease and rules says no one but the people on the lease are to reside in the unit. Guests can stay, but if it's longer than two weeks, they need to ask permission via a written letter.

We’ve never had an issue up until just this past week. We received 2 calls from nearby homeowners asking why we are renting to a convicted sex offender. I was shocked. We are absolutely not renting to convicted sex offender. They sent me a screen shot of the registry showing that a person ( will not name names ) was in fact residing at one of our apartments.

I called the tenant and asked her about it. She said “Well, he’s not living here just staying for a while.” I basically flipped out and told her he needed to leave immediately. Not tomorrow, now, or she goes too. Yes, I know risky, but this guy is guilty of some awful stuff. Under 6 years old, relative, and repeated assaults.

She took my warning seriously and got him out right away. He is now in a local hotel, and police consider him to be 'homeless'. We have a family moving in in a few weeks with a 5-year-old girl. So I am thankful he is gone, but worried he may come ‘visit’.

I have gotten conflicting advice. Chief of Police says we need a lawyer because we can’t discriminate against a person staying as a guest, even if he is a convicted sex offender because he is no longer on parole.

But his address in the registry was one of our apartments. I say, he was planning on staying for a while. Chief of police says we can’t prove he was staying there past the two week mark.

The original officer that I spoke to said, “If he is not on the lease and residing there, and you do not want him there, then he is trespassing.”

What do you all have in your lease and rules about guests, and how can I stop this from happening again?

Thanks in advance! 

So ours has a notice of a person saying more than 48hrs we should be given notice. 

I dont know how your city works, but here the person has to stay at the house with their mail being delivered there for a notice to be sent out. 

I might consult with an attorney about stipulating that felons are not permitted on the grounds at all, and having certain crimes require immediate notice if they are visiting  

Get photos or evidence of him coming and going so you can prove if he truly stayed and for how long . Print off photos from his docket online and hand them out ! I’d inform everyone at each unit and the neighbors to keep a lookout for this fella and leave them all a business card to call you immediately if he comes back leave the photo with each person . Send a certified document that states she is not in compliance with the lease to harbor him and let her know all neighbors will be watching for him in the area . So she doesn’t get any stupid ideas of dragging him back there ! Keep a close eye on this idiot especially in the evenings in the event she tries sneaking him back in

@Dennis M.

We did send her a letter stating the rules and what she was in violation of. (Even if we could not prove it.)  I do not tell the other tenants about it, but I did tell one tenant because he does side work for us and is very trustworthy. He also has a good view of the parking and entrance, so he is going to keep an eye out for him.  

Originally posted by @Tracie Van :

@Dennis M.

We did send her a letter stating the rules and what she was in violation of. (Even if we could not prove it.)  I do not tell the other tenants about it, but I did tell one tenant because he does side work for us and is very trustworthy. He also has a good view of the parking and entrance, so he is going to keep an eye out for him.  

I assure you that If this guy was around and something happened to one of those other tenants kids or grandkids visiting you would feel awful bad you didn’t inform them of this nutcase . Pedophilia isn’t something that is cured overnight or ever in many cases .he will likely fight his urges for the rest of his life . This is a crappy situation I’m sorry your dealing with this . 

Short of just camping out in front of the unit and documenting him coming and going or staying for two plus weeks this is going to be very difficult to prove or enforce

Sex offenders that have registration requirements should be fairly easy to "catch" without leaving your couch, or babysitting your property.  If this guy registers your address, then I would say his intent is pretty clear (to live there).  You may want to check your state for what the registry laws are, and how soon after on offender moves, does he/she need to update the registry.

@Tracie Van

I guess you keep on doing what you're doing and when the lease is up for the tenant don't renew. It seems likely that she's going to continue at least having this person over, and trying to sneak him in and out as she sees fit.

But the fact that you're handling this without a lawyer in your corner is silly. Listen to the Chief of Police you spoke to. Learn as much as you can about your local laws regarding this issue. Good luck to you.

I think you handled it appropriately. He's gone, you put the tenant on notice, so leave it at that.

You may consider changing your lease to say "guests may stay no more than 14 days in a 6-month period" to avoid people coming and going on a regular basis.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Tracie Van

I guess you keep on doing what you're doing and when the lease is up for the tenant don't renew. It seems likely that she's going to continue at least having this person over, and trying to sneak him in and out as she sees fit

 This.

I wouldn't believe the actual tenant is going to to stop inviting him over. Calmly inform her that you will not renew at the end of the lease and that she should start looking for a new apartment immediately. Inform her that if she finds a new place to live and wants to move before the end of the lease that you will not penalize her for moving before the end of the lease. Even offer to refund the security deposit quickly if the apartment is returned clean and undamaged.

If your ultimate goal is to prevent the Convicted Child Abuser from being there, you must get rid of the tenant.

@Randy E.

Her lease was up this past month and I decided to not do a year renewal, and let it convert to month-to-month. Glad I did. I can give her 30-days notice now whenever I feel its warranted. 

I also am realizing now that I did not give enough info about the tenant. She is older, and the sex offender is her nephew. She also has her 30 something year old son living with her. (He is on the lease) So she had to know of his past. Which is frustrating to me. There are no kids living in that building yet, and I am guessing  she though no harm then. She is actually a nice person. Not making excuses, just filling in the details :-) 

Originally posted by @Tracie Van :

@Randy E.

Her lease was up this past month and I decided to not do a year renewal, and let it convert to month-to-month. Glad I did. I can give her 30-days notice now whenever I feel its warranted. 

I also am realizing now that I did not give enough info about the tenant. She is older, and the sex offender is her nephew. She also has her 30 something year old son living with her. (He is on the lease) So she had to know of his past. Which is frustrating to me. There are no kids living in that building yet, and I am guessing  she though no harm then. She is actually a nice person. Not making excuses, just filling in the details :-) 

 Those details actually help me believe even more firmly that she will allow the Child Abuser back into her apartment.  She's older, he's a younger family member in need.  

It would be best to deliver the 30-day notice today.  She can be out by July 15, and maybe you'll have a new tenant in place by August 1.

Good luck

Originally posted by @Caleb Heimsoth :

Short of just camping out in front of the unit and documenting him coming and going or staying for two plus weeks this is going to be very difficult to prove or enforce

 Use technology . Internet camera for surveillance.

@Tracie Van you handled this correctly. Some landlords like to tip toe around issues, but in this case, you just tell them to get the **** out now. Never trust police to give you accurate information. Sex offenders are put on those lists specifically so they can be discriminated against until the day they die. Police are the number one discriminator in this situation. They do it through profiling. A child is abducted and the number one suspect is the sex offender that lives a block away. Tell me that isn't discrimination, but it is ok for the police and not you as a landlord?
 

Of course the sex offender was living there, that is why it was their registered address. If they were "just visiting" then they would have a different permanent address in the registry. The point is if he was just vising, then the neighbors would never know he was there. Regardless, you are able to publish policies that prohibit certain people from being in your property. There are only certain protected classes. Sex offenders are not a protected class and neither are police by the way.

@Joe Splitrock

Yes! That is what I said to my husband - the police do not know all the rental rules. It was sort of crazy because the chief of police acted like he was under a protected class...they are not. So frustrating. 

We decided that we are serving the 30 day notice. No reason to risk it. 

Originally posted by @Tracie Van :

@Josh Anderson

I just thought of something. What's to stop the tenant's guest from staying two days, leaving, then staying two days..etc etc 

I think if you have someone being that sneaky you don't want them as a tenant 

Thank you for this post and thread! I am experiencing this exact same scenario. I am having difficulty getting them to register a new address on the sex offender registry. I have threatened her that until it is changed I have to assume he is still living in the apartment. That’s my only card. Other than evicting both but I want my apartment complex off the sex offender list now.