IfI had to move due to a criminal neighbor and our landlord didn’t inform us about him, what can be done?

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IfI had to move due to a criminal neighbor and our landlord didn’t inform us about him, what can be done?

I was forced to move due to a mentally ill sex offender neighbor that the landlord was aware of. We were not told about him when we on moved into the house. We were forced to move due to harassment and the fact no one would do anything about the neighbor. I am on a fixed income and it took a lot of money to move to a safe place. I want to sue for not being informed about the neighbor until after we moved in to that house.

Asked on March 27, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

 

Whether or not a landlord has a legal duty to disclose that a sex offender resides in a rental complex varies from state-to-state, as does a landlord's duty to disclose whether or not a sex offender lives in the surrounding neighborhood.  In some states a landlord has no such duty; in others the landlord may have an absolute duty to disclose, and in still others a landlord may have a duty to investigate further to determine the nature of the offense, how long ago the offense occurred, and the punishment that was imposed.  Additionally, a landlord may have no duty if the police are planning to notify residents of the neighborhood, which they sometimes do.  Also, since sex offender registry information is available to the public the landlord may have no duty to notify other residents to information that they could obtain themselves.  For example, in CA leases must contain a paragraph which informs a residential tenant that they have the right to access sex offender information; the landlord is not required to provide any other information.

At this point, contact a tenant's rights advocacy group in your area or consult directly with a real estate attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant matters.  They can beast advise you as to your rights under specific state law.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not a landlord has a legal duty to disclose that a sex offender resides in a rental complex varies from state-to-state, as does a landlord's duty to disclose whether or not a sex offender lives in the surrounding neighborhood.  In some states a landlord has no such duty; in others the landlord may have an absolute duty to disclose, and in still others a landlord may have a duty to investigate further to determine the nature of the offense, how long ago the offense occurred, and the punishment that was imposed.  Additionally, a landlord may have no duty if the police are planning to notify residents of the neighborhood, which they sometimes do.  Also, since sex offender registry information is available to the public the landlord may have no duty to notify other residents to information that they could obtain themselves.  For example, in CA leases must contain a paragraph which informs a residential tenant that they have the right to access sex offender information; the landlord is not required to provide any other information.

At this point, contact a tenant's rights advocacy group in your area or consult directly with a real estate attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant matters.  They can beast advise you as to your rights under specific state law.


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