Is it illegal for landlord not to inform new tenants of a sex offender in the comple?

I just moved into this new apartment and was not informed of a level 2 sex offender (rape of child) living 4 doors down from my wife and 2 small kids. I did a check on my phone before signing for local offenders and he did not show up. After finding out I did a check on my computer and he did show up. By not informing me is it a violation of the agreement? If it is, can I terminate the agreement and move my wife and kids to a safer location?

Asked on August 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a landlord is required to disclose to all potential tenants of all matters concerning the rental known by the landlord affecting desirability and/or price paid. The key is known matters.

If the landlord knew that there was a registered sex offender in the complex where you rented and failed to disclose such material fact, you would have a factual and legal basis for terminating your lease with your landlord without recourse.

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