If we just found out there is a sex offender near the house that we are soon closing on, can we back out?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If we just found out there is a sex offender near the house that we are soon closing on, can we back out?

It’s still under contingencies for another 2 days. The sex offender lives near the school that our youngest kid will be attending; they will be walking this route everyday not to mention playing at the local park across the street. Those were both selling points for us and now we are concerned Thought they needed to be a certain distance from schools. Can we back out? Will we lose our earnest


Asked on August 4, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, while as a parent myself, I sympathize with your desire to back out, you cannot do so without losing your earnest money/deposit, unless one of the contingencies your refer to specifically allows you to terminate the deal for this reason. Otherwise, the law is very clear that the seller is not liable or responsible for conditions off his property and in the area/neighborhood around the home, or for the identity or actions of other people in the community. A sex offender in the neighborhood is not legal grounds or justification to terminate the contract with this seller.

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