What are a tenant’s rights if a landlord fails to disclose that a sex offender also lives in their building?

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What are a tenant’s rights if a landlord fails to disclose that a sex offender also lives in their building?

While we were working on renting our place, my landlord did not notify me that they had just rented the upstairs to a sex offender. We had asked them about the neighborhood and they told us it was a quiet with good neighbors. We have been here almost 2 months and just found out the apartment above us is rented to a sex offender who’s charged with sexual assault of a minor under 16. I have a small child myself and have seen him trying to talk with her (I never let her outside alone, but this concerns me because she’s learning to open doors). Do I have any legal rights here?

Asked on April 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Idaho

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

All states have some type of law based upon Megan's Law (the law that requires the state to register individuals convicted of sex crimes against children and to make that information available to the public, typically on-line).  In that regard, most states require landlords to provide notice and information in the lease about the existence of the state's registry or data base of sex offenders. In some states, landlords are required to disclose whether any sex-offenders live in the area if the landlord has actual knowledge that an offender lives near the leased premises.

At this point, you should directly contact a tenant's rights organization or attorney that specializes in landlord tenant matters.  They can best advise you as to your rights in this situation.


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