Rent to a Criminal?
April 1, 2007
Here are possible outcomes if you choose to rent to someone with a felony record:
Murder: Was it committed during another crime? Was it the result of an anger issue? If so, could well do it again. Depending on the other crime, it could be in your rental property against another tenant.
Rape: Rapists are likely to repeat their crimes. Rent to a convicted rapist and you could end up with him committing rape against one or your tenants and you facing a lawsuit.
Assault: Take a look at whom he assaulted. If it was domestic violence, chances are visits will be frequent from the police to your rental property. Was it against a neighbor or landlord? Then look for the neighbor or other tenant to be looking for someone to sue, or you being threatened because of some real or imagined slight.
Drug dealer: Rent to him and you deserve what you get.
Thief: Whom did he steal from? If it was a business, your only risk is his landing back in jail and you having a vacancy without notice from the tenant. If it was a burglary or theft from cars, your other tenants could be on the thieving end. Expect angry calls that Ayou should have known about this guy. @
Prostitution: How many “friends” will she have over before the police raid the unit and take her away? Another vacancy without notice.
Arson: What did he burn down? If it was a business, it’s one thing. If it was a rental property because the landlord evicted him or he was mad at a neighbor, you’re a fool to rent to him.
Fraud: Con artists will try to cheat everyone. You could be the next victim. You will never have heard so many unique excuses for not being able to pay the rent.
Embezzler: You’re pretty safe here, as long as he or she has enough money to pay the rent.
Drunk driving: Will he or she be running into other cars in the parking lot, or running over small children in the street?
Child molester: A lawsuit waiting to happen. These people are never cured and will go looking again. Guaranteed to have you hiring a lawyer to defend you for renting to him. You should have known.
Renting to a tenant with a dangerous criminal record you knew about, or would have known about with proper screening, could put you on the receiving end of a lawsuit. No one wins a lawsuit. They cost lots of money even if the judge rules in your favor.
Even more important is the atmosphere renting to convicted felons creates in your rental properties. It tells your good tenants that you don’t value their business. It tells bad tenants that they sure picked right when they chose to live in your property. You are only as successful as your tenant selection.