Would you rent to a sex offender if the offense was a 17 with a 15 year old ?

74 Replies

Nice couple ; good work history ; no pets ; plenty of money ; but prior sex offender case 10 years ago (17 year old with a 15 year old)

Possible long term tenant :

Let me know your thoughts

I wouldn't just because they have to register.  And once the neighbors find out you let a sex offender into the neighborhood, you'll never hear the end of it. I don't want to deal with the drama. 

That situation is one of the atrocities of our legal system and the registered sex offender requirements.  Meanwhile, actual predators go free or fly under the radar.

With that said...IF you can verify the details of the case and assure that what you've described were the actual charge, then yes.  I would absolutely rent to them.

I would not punish someone for something that wouldn't have even been a crime in at least 1/2 the other states.

@Dawn A.  

I had/have the same concern Dawn. The business guy in me though says so what and boo hoo to the neighbors. My wanting to create a successful business is greater than my want to satisfy neighbors who don't pay my rent. I would feel differently if I felt he was a bad guy but I don't. 

Maybe I'm off pace --- that's why I'm asking for advice :)

I think that given the situation and length of time it shouldn't be an issue. I actually applaud you for looking into the reason and not just kicking the gentleman to the curb. I bet he has been turned down by others which could make him a solid long term tenant. I would take into account the type of property. If its a multi where it may stop a family from moving in that is one thing. If it's a standalone sfr and he passes all the other tests I would personally be okay renting to him. 

@Westin Hudnall  yeah, it's not so much that I care what the neighbors think, but I do care about the drag on my time and energy that an angry neighbor infused backlash could cause. If you can find a different qualified renter, I would. I do agree with @Hattie Dizmond  that it sucks for this guy. There are real predators on the loose, and your potential tenant isn't one of them. 


I'm confused how the neighbors can bug you? If they call can't you just ignore the call? 

Maybe your saying they find every opportunity to turn you into the home owners association?

Wrong Dawn.  You want @Dawn Brenengen -- to tag someone in the thread you're responding to, type the @ symbol followed by ? like this:  @? and a little pop-up will come up with the names of the people in that thread.

I had a friend that considered registering as  a sex offender just because he didn't want kids to move in next door.     

If you have other options I'd go with them, if the house is sitting empty I'd let them move in if there weren't any other red flags.      If it turns into a huge hassle, maybe decide not to renew the lease or raise the rent 10-20%

@Westin Hudnall  you're tagging the wrong "dawn". 

It depends on the neighborhood. I actually just had an applicant for one of my homes who was a sex offender. He was a real sex offender, but the charge was almost 20 years ago. I didn't think twice about not renting to him. The neighborhood is across the street from a high school, and I know there are a lot of families close by. This is also a $1500/month property, so the neighbors are not likely to be people who don't care. 

I don't want to be inundated with phone calls. I'm an agent, so I have to answer my phone all the time. And yes, neighbors can just make your life miserable with complaints to the HOA, calling the police, calling you, etc. I don't know your property or neighborhood, so maybe this wouldn't be as big of an issue.

I wouldn't have any problem with it. 

I can't imagine any neighbor (except some super uptight, prissy, religious ones) creating a problem, if they find out what it's really about. 

And I really don't care about pleasing those prissy one - because you can't anyway ;-)

And I have to say, I do have a sex offender in one of my properties for the past 3 years. Have never received any call. ( He kissed his 15 year old cousin, who told her parents, when she got into trouble for something else. And, yes, I did get that story confirmed by his parole officer)

I would consider renting to him.  Assuming that it really was a 17y/15y situation, I think it is ridiculous that this is even considered a crime.

thanks everyone :)

@Westin Hudnall 

You should really have your criteria for tenant acceptance articulated in a written policy and be certain to follow it unwaveringly when evaluating each candidate ... that way everyone is measured against the same standard.

In this case, the candidates story, his credit, his references, and the remaining background check needs to pass all of your criteria.  You should also use this case as an opportunity to update your criteria to indicate which types of "offenders" you will consider on a case-by-case basis and which you will not entertain at all.

@Roy N.  

Do you have a tenant written policy that you can share ?

When I first read @Dawn Brenengen  's comment about the neighbors, I immediately thought about potential vandalism.  Spray painting slurs on the property, bricks through the window, and other things of that nature.

I am with @Ryan Dossey on this one. It would depend on the type of property. If it were a multi-unit, I would probably turn him away. If it were a SFR, I would probably rent to him.

Of course that is only if I myself verified the facts of his case. 

I also agree with @Hattie Dizmond  that it is an atrocity.  When I was younger, high school girls RARELY dated a boy their age.  Freshmen & sophomores dated the juniors and seniors.  That sure opens the door for a lot of statutory rape charges. 

Personally, I would consider renting to them as well as long as there are no other red flags. But would consider the neighborhood as well. If your rental property is a blue collar neighborhood in the C+ range I don't think it will be a problem with the other neighbors. 

@Westin Hudnall  

We do have a written application screening process/policy and there are probably parts of it that are universal benefit, but we operate in a different country from you so there will equally be parts which are not applicable in your locale.

I will speak with my partner and see if the document is something we would publish on-line here.   That said, there is a good tenant screening guide already published here on BP which will not burden you with reading about Canadian privacy practices/requirements that are not applicable to you.

@Westin Hudnall  I know that's a touchy subject but you might want to check the laws regarding renting to a sex offender. Most states have fair housing discrimination laws (Fair Housing Act) that you can not discriminate based on various factors. Double check the Kansas law.  If you can not find your answer -- consult with a lawyer. 

The problem with law is that it's not clear always. Anything involving the laws around Real Estate - you can not take the word of another investor or anyone that does not know. You can be sued. 

Read this and this what makes it so difficult if this is accurate


This is the difference between an Investor and Realtor --- we are trained to know the law aspect to advice our clients. 

The US District Attorney sued Donald Sterling for 2.75 million for discrimination against African Americans, Hispanics and families with children at scores of apartment buildings he owns in and around Los Angeles.

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/donald-sterling-to-pay-2725-million-to-settle-housing-discrimination-lawsuit.html

Personally I would rent to them, yeah you might have a few pissed off neighbors but business is business. And 10 years ago? The legal system these days are harsh!

Assuming it was just kids doing what kids do (consensual), the real tragedy is that someone has to live with this BS charge the rest of their life.  Rent to them.  

Life is about more than money, even the business life. The US is known to be populated by people doing the right thing. While this expression is also getting its fair share of abuse, if you think that 2 kissing teenagers is no big deal in the modern world, then rent to them. Obviously, there shouldn't be a real red flag. 

One time an applicant told us we would find "statutory rape" in his record, but explained that it happened when he was 16 and his girlfriend was 15 and they had sex by mutual consent. He said her father found out and pressed charges, but it was really nothing. Well, I went to the county court house and read the actual police report. He was 24 and she was 14. He and his buddies had picked up two 14 year old girls at the mall, convinced them to go to their place, gave them alcohol and the three guys gang raped one of the girls, the other girl got away. The details were gruesome and made my stomach turn. I sent the applicant an immediate denial letter and was done with it.  As others have said... DO check out the details of the story,

Isnt 17 and 15 legal? but they must break up when he turns 18 right? You need to use your judgment. Maybe consider talking to your other tenants and see how they feel about it. You sure don't want to loose several tenants because of the addition of one.

@Marcia Maynard  

Your post alone was difficult to read.  I can only imagine how difficult it was to read that police report. 

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