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Subject: Sex Offender Bought a Unit Next Door!
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ColtonD
(Texas)

Posts:2


11/26/2012 2:05 PM  
I had set-up an alert system to be notified when a sex offender moved into my zip code.
I was appalled this morning to find out my new neighbor is a convicted sex offender. I looked him up on the Travis county database, and he committed a crime 15 years ago, but he seems to have already served his sentence. However, all sex offender must require for the rest of their life.
What can my HOA do? I just looked through all the governing documents, and the only applicable rule is the following:

"3.2 Danger. The Association may prohibit occupancy by a person who constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons, or whose occupancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act."

Do y'all think this could be sufficient to prohibit him from entering the building or use common areas? Could we force him to sell and get out of our building?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8300


11/26/2012 2:48 PM  
I think your over reacting. It was 15 years ago and they did their time. You don't mention what the crime was. An 18 year old dating a 17 year old could get a sex offender status. Without knowing the situation how are you to judge more than a court of law?

This is NOT an area the HOA has jurisdiction on evicting. If anything this is just a regular law enforcement issue. Which most states require the sex offender to register where ever they go. Plus you may get notification by mail they are in the area. The police are already aware of their living arrangements and will probably make frequent inquiries to ensure they are following the rules.

It is NOT the sex offenders that have been convicted that I worry about. It is the ones that haven't. You don't know who they are and there's no warning on them. Someone who has already in the system and is paying the price is a much better option to have. You will know the circumstances, who they are, and that the police will be able to do something.

Besides, worry about yourself and not try to save everyone else. Are they going to attack you? or make threats to? Then worry. Otherwise let the person be.

Former HOA President
CarolR11


Posts:0


11/26/2012 3:09 PM  
I agree with Melissa. So far as you know, he's paid his debt to society. So far as you know, he does not constitute a "direct threat" to anyone's safety. Let him live a normal life. Getting your Board or neighbors riled up will not serve the best interests of your HOA.

Within 8 square blocks of our HOA in our densely occupied urban neighborhood, a resident here who also constantly monitors such matters, has told me that there are about a dozen registered sex offenders.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


11/26/2012 9:03 PM  
Colton ironically there is a news story out of Texas where an HOA kicked out a sex offender and got themselves a big old lawsuit out of it.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/11/26/52501.htm

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
ColtonD
(Texas)

Posts:2


11/26/2012 9:22 PM  
Nobody wants sex offender living next door!
Not me, not you... It's so easy to speak when it isn't happening to you.
Sex offender in condo = lower home prices!
People look at safety and criminal background when buying / selling properties ... This will affect my investment negatively.
As far as that article and the lawsuit, there's is absolutely no guarantee the HOA will lose.
But nobody has answered my question. Legally, does that clause in the HOA regulation gives me any ground to try to get this guy out? The regulations were put in place years before this person decided to buy here...
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


11/26/2012 10:28 PM  
I think proving that someone who offended 15 years ago and hasn't since (or at least hasn't been caught) constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons, or whose occupancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

BTW I have the pleasure of having two, count them two Tier III sex offenders living in my complex, one a child molester, the other a rapist.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


11/27/2012 12:29 AM  
Sorry missed a word or two:

I think it would be difficult proving that someone who offended 15 years ago and hasn't since (or at least hasn't been caught) constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons, or whose occupancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

BTW I have the pleasure of having two, count them two Tier III sex offenders living in my complex, one a child molester, the other a rapist.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2565


11/27/2012 5:10 AM  
I seem to recall this came up in another thread after a HOA in Greenwood, IN passed a similar rule. As far as I know it hasn't been tested in court.

Our board's vice president also uses an alert system similar to yours and found a similar situation in our community. This prompted a chat with our security officer (also a police detective) and he said there's not much the Association can do. Sex offenders aren't a protected classes (unlike race, religion, gender, etc.), but the Association might be hard pressed to prove he or she can't or shouldn't live here if nothing's happened.

And if we were to advise people that a sex offender lived at 123 main street, for example, someone might be inclined to take a shot at him and then the Association might be held responsible for endangering his/her life.

Finally, there's a chance that the information is wrong - there was an article in our local paper about this very thing (not to mention that some people aren't registering when they should, so someone could be living in your community and you'd never know)

From reading the old thread (may be somewhere on this thread - use the search engine) and some of the other stuff that came up at our meeting, I think the most you can do is perhaps publish a general article - not saying someone currently lives in the neighborhood, but something along the lines of

* the HOA doesn't have anything in the Bylaws or CCRS that specifically prohibit sex offenders from living in the community. There's a question as to whether such rules would even stand up in court
* the HOA doesn't actively check the website to see if a sex offender lives in the community - this information is readily available and anyone can check the website at any time
* if parents and guardians learn a sex offender lives or works nearby, they must determine the best way to protect their children (e.g. educate them on "good touch/bad touch")
* if you threaten or attack someone simply because you saw him/her listed on the website, YOU could be arrested for assault, intimidation or worse
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16382


11/27/2012 5:23 AM  
Colton,

Based on the information you provided, if you or the Association tried to evict, I don't believe you or the Association would be triumphant.

However, you asked a simple question and I do believe that the question should be answered:


1) If you are not serving on the Board, you should make a complaint to the Board and await their response. If you disagree with their response you should consult a local attorney to see about bringing legal action yourself against the individual for the alleged violation of the covenant and determine if the time, energy, stress and money will be worth the fight.

2) If you are serving on the Board, I would recommend you consult the Association attorney to see what the Associations legal options are. Once you receive a response, the Board can make an informed decision about the issue (keeping in mind that a special assessment may be needed for the legal bills).

Hope this helps,

Tim
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


11/27/2012 7:03 AM  
Posted By ColtonD on 11/26/2012 2:05 PM
I had set-up an alert system to be notified when a sex offender moved into my zip code.
I was appalled this morning to find out my new neighbor is a convicted sex offender. I looked him up on the Travis county database, and he committed a crime 15 years ago, but he seems to have already served his sentence. However, all sex offender must require for the rest of their life.
What can my HOA do? I just looked through all the governing documents, and the only applicable rule is the following:

"3.2 Danger. The Association may prohibit occupancy by a person who constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of other persons, or whose occupancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act."

Do y'all think this could be sufficient to prohibit him from entering the building or use common areas? Could we force him to sell and get out of our building?




To answer your question i don't think your HOA can do anything. My question back to you is what has he done over the past 15 years since his crime, has that all been in jail or has he been free awhile? His crime is also a consideration, as someone said an 18 year old with a 17 year old significant other is different than someone who rapes. But both get the same designation.

The burden would be on you or the HOA to prove that he is a direct threat to the health and safety of the residents and i just don't see that in this case.
LauraR5
(Tennessee)

Posts:216


11/27/2012 7:28 AM  
There are two sex offenders in our community according to the state's database. I did check it out when I first moved here, but I haven't really thought about it much since then. They have paid their debt to society. And honestly, I think if we have witch hunts and chase these folks off that they will just skirt the law and try to fly under the radar. And I'd much rather know who the sex offenders are and where they live than have them not report.

You know where they live, what they look like and what their crime was (at least all that info is on our state's website). Just be cautious, but then again, I'm cautious with any new person in my neighborhood. If issues arise, then perhaps the board needs to address it.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3269


11/27/2012 8:10 AM  
Do y'all think this could be sufficient to prohibit him from entering the building or use common areas? Could we force him to sell and get out of our building?


So he owns the unit, and you lock him out. He will need to stay somewhere so he rents hotel. Next he puts his place up for sale because he cant access it. So lets say it takes 3 months to sell... $150 night = $13,500 Next he moves his stuff out and puts the place up for sale and takes a $50,000 loss because he needed to sell it quick. Now he sues the HOA for forcing him to stay in a hotel and take a loss on the sale of his house. I can see the judge easily awarding him $63,500 for actual damages caused by your HOA and whatever punitive damages he wishes to add.

So yes, you can lock the doors, but dont think for a second there will be no repercussions.

PS. There are laws against harassing sex offenders. So be careful. I in no way support sex offenders, but the law is the law........
EdmundS1
(North Carolina)

Posts:45


11/27/2012 10:30 AM  
Here in NC we have the "Planned Community Act", a state law that allows Planned Communities, with 75% of the owners (not renters) signing the application to:

1) Ban sales to sex offenders

2) Ban the establishment of "group homes", half-way houses, etc.

among other things.

Don't know what the situation is in other states but there may be a law in your state that is applicable.

One benefit (so to speak) for our HOA was the process forced us to track down absentee owners and update our records on the number of renters in our 155 community of patio and town homes.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8300


11/27/2012 11:27 AM  
All is good and well with that law but the HOA does NOT own the houses. So an owner can sell to whoever they want even if it is Satan. What repucussions are they going to suffer than some words that say you can't do that? None.

No a HOA can NOT selectively sale or evict anyone that wants to buy a home and become a member. They can annoy the crap out of you once you do and wish you had never heard of an HOA...They can't interfere with an owner's contract no matter what the intentions including rental restrictions.(In most states).

All I have to say is how well do you want your stake with your torch? Seriously, get over the whole sex offender thing and move on. No one is perfect. You could have an alcoholic living next door who has more potential of doing harm and killing someone on the road than someone trying to get down your pants.

Former HOA President
BrianB
(California)

Posts:2820


11/27/2012 12:04 PM  
i always wondered why we have a sex offender registry, but not a murderer registry.

Personally, I would much rather know that the guy next door likes murdering people than diddling them.
EdmundS1
(North Carolina)

Posts:45


11/27/2012 4:01 PM  
Melissa,

I'm assuming your talking about my post on the LAWS in NC that indeed allow HOA's to block the sale of homes for the reasons noted. HOA's can block the sale/use of homes in NC and 90% of planned (Private)communites have approved the "Planned Community Act" to be applicable to their community.

Brian,

Hope you have a sex offender living on one side of you and a killer on the other side; sounds like you would be right at home...of your 2500+ posts has any contained any useful information?
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3269


11/27/2012 6:53 PM  
Posted By BrianB on 11/27/2012 12:04 PM
i always wondered why we have a sex offender registry, but not a murderer registry


I agree with Brian, I'm more worried about murderers, the guy that hits the bar every night after work and drives home drunk on a daily basis, or the people living in the neighborhood abusing crack, heroin, prescription drugs, meth, etc. Where is their registry?
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


11/27/2012 10:27 PM  
Colton,

Why not just hire your own attorney and seek a court order to keep the sex offender out?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8300


11/28/2012 6:16 AM  
On what grounds Larry? Seriously, a person who has served their time for a crime they committed over 15 years ago and is registered shouldn't be sued to NOT be allowed to buy their own home. Sorry, but there is no argument that can deny this person of buying a home in that person's HOA or anywhere else.

A registered sex offender next door does NOT effect one's home values at all. Not in the slightest unless the person gets their house foreclosed on. The only thing it effects is that someone may not be attracted to purchase your home. Does NOT mean your house is of less value.

Former HOA President
MoM1
(Massachusetts)

Posts:56


11/28/2012 6:26 AM  
Actually, in some states sex offenders may not live or work within a certain radius of places ie. schools, day care centers, playgrounds, etc. A quick call to the local police dept. can get you the information you need. You may be able to get more information on just what crime this owner committed.
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


11/28/2012 6:40 AM  
Here is food for thought, every registered sex offender at one point or another was not a sex offender...We have one that lives down the street from us. It is what it is but at least you know this guy's history. It is the first time predator that would scare me more
LauraR5
(Tennessee)

Posts:216


11/28/2012 7:28 AM  
I hadn't really thought about the neighbors making meth. Thanks! Well, here's hoping those firewalls between units work, eh?

I would just be thankful that a registry lets you know he's there and keep your guard up if you feel that's appropriate. Just remember when you run someone off, you often end up with something worse to replace it. Or at least that's been my experience in life. Could possibly be karma. Not sure.
BrianB
(California)

Posts:2820


11/28/2012 7:41 AM  
Posted By EdmundS1 on 11/27/2012 4:01 PM

Brian,

Hope you have a sex offender living on one side of you and a killer on the other side; sounds like you would be right at home...of your 2500+ posts has any contained any useful information?



Actually, I do have a sex offender living down the block from me. Committed his crime in 1973, still required to register every year.

As for murderers... I really have no clue. There is no registry. Could be three of them next door, I would never know. Because in our country, a murderer can commit his crime, get caught, serve 3, 4, 7, etc. years, and be released back into society without a ripple.

But, anyone can be put on a sex offender registry, for a wide variety of crimes, and must remain there their entire lives. Rape a child? On the list Urinate in public? On the list. Drug deal gone bad? On the list. Send OR RECEIVE photos of a 16 year old girl? On the list. Smuggle an alien across the border? On the list.

Murder, dismember, pour gasoline on a child and burn them on youe ex wife's lawn? Nope. No list for you.

As for your other question... do any of my 2500+ posts contain any useful information?

Yes. Four of them did.
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


11/28/2012 10:23 AM  
Posted By LarryB13 on 11/27/2012 10:27 PM
Colton,

Why not just hire your own attorney and seek a court order to keep the sex offender out?





Posted By MelissaP1 on 11/28/2012 6:16 AM
On what grounds Larry? Seriously, a person who has served their time for a crime they committed over 15 years ago and is registered shouldn't be sued to NOT be allowed to buy their own home. Sorry, but there is no argument that can deny this person of buying a home in that person's HOA or anywhere else.

A registered sex offender next door does NOT effect one's home values at all. Not in the slightest unless the person gets their house foreclosed on. The only thing it effects is that someone may not be attracted to purchase your home. Does NOT mean your house is of less value.




I have no idea what legal basis there would be for the OP to keep the sex offender out. Apparently the OP does not know either as he has not mentioned anything about seeking legal advice, but he wants his association to fight this battle for him. The point of my question is that the issue is his, not necessarily the association's, and that he does not need to wait for the association to act if he believes his new neighbor poses a threat.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8300


11/28/2012 11:57 AM  
You know you can get on a sex offender list or a terrorist list. Now they invented "Terrorist threat" invocation on anything that calls someone a name, you can get on that list too.

A little story to share with you...We had some renters from a foreign land in our HOA. Didn't bother anyone. They did keep some strange hours but I attributed it to them not being adjusted to American time. September 11th happened. These guys started packing EVERYTHING up. I mean they put a broken down truck in a Uhaul and were loading things up fast. Never seen people move this fast before. I did a little investigating and found that these guys were from Florida. Their vehicle license plates were from the SAME county as the Terrorist took their flight training! Needless to say, the FBI was contacted and they were searched thoroughly. A few days later they were gone. Nothing said by the FBI.

A few months later I ran into the owner's son who was getting the house ready for new renters. I asked him about his previous renters. He informed me that they were from Yemen and were college students. They were good tenants to them and always had paid on time. They had to move out because they had gotten accepted in a college across the country. Which I had seen the paperwork confirming this when cleaning up their mess at the dumpster.

At the time no one knew the term "Sleeper cell". There was no "Terrorist list". Our HOA is in the flight path of 2 airports! Today, do I need to also run potential owners through a background check to check for terrorist connections? A HOA isn't in the policing business. It can't evict anyone for a criminal or terrorist past. You have the money to buy a home, you buy the home and get to be a HOA member.

Former HOA President
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3269


11/29/2012 6:30 AM  

Just saw this on the news feed of HOAtalk........

11/26/12
A sex offender sued his condo association for banning registered sex offenders from living there soon after he was released from prison.

The condominium association posted a notice on plaintiffs' door announcing for the first time that registered sex offenders are not allowed to live in the condominium.

Whipple and his wife is suing and seeking actual damages, injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order for violations of public policy, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the right to alienate property.

Link

So again.... I say..... Yes.... your HOA can do whatever it wants, but as you can see there are financial consequences to your actions.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:907


11/29/2012 10:42 AM  
Another related posting- from city-data.com

**************

PHOENIX -- An appeals court on Tuesday upheld an Arizona law that says home sellers can't be sued for failing to tell buyers that a sex offender lives nearby.

But the ruling from the Arizona Court of Appeals also said that lying about such an issue could constitute fraud.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by a couple who didn't know an offender lived next door to a Scottsdale home they bought for nearly $3.1 million in 2008.

************

Reading between the lines a little bit here- you can't be sued (in AZ) for not telling a prospective buyer about a nearby sex offender. However you CAN be sued if you know and lie about it.

Personally- not having children you understand- I wouldn't even bother to look it up, let alone set up an alert.
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


11/29/2012 11:18 AM  
Posted By FredS7 on 11/29/2012 10:42 AM

Personally- not having children you understand- I wouldn't even bother to look it up, let alone set up an alert.



There are all types of sex offenders, as I stated earlier we have two living in our complex. The child molester didn't bother me as my daughter was the wrong gender to attract him, even though I warned her about him. It was the rapist that bothered me and made me make my GF get her carry permit.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
LauraR5
(Tennessee)

Posts:216


11/29/2012 1:08 PM  
The only time I've ever felt unsafe in my neighborhood, it wasn't from anyone who was on the sex offender's list. But it reminded me that sometimes we have to make sure we are smart in our own community, no matter how safe we usually feel. You just can't let your guard down and put yourself in bad situations.
EdmundS1
(North Carolina)

Posts:45


11/29/2012 6:02 PM  
Brian,
Glad to see you have a sense of humor about my post....don't underestimate yourself, I'm sure you have 1000+ quality posts.....

Interesting how people respond. In our "older" retirement HOA when I (we / HOA) had meetngs to discuss the NC Planned Comunity Act with owners (155 patio homes / town houses) there was a much bigger discussion about group homes / half-way houses then sex offenders. Probably reflects the fact that 90% of the owners have grown childern and the grand-kids are well supervised when they visit.

The point about a "meth" lab next door is also interesting. Probably a good place to hide but with a substantial % of the resident population at home 24/7 someone is always watching. This has slowed my plans to do "moonshire" in my basement.....
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


11/30/2012 2:05 PM  
I had posted a question similar to this. My HOA had passed an amendment banning the ownership and/or inhabitance of an individual home by a sex offender. Personally I don't think such a covenant would be enforceable. Sure the HOA could try (and seeing by the registry on the internet they haven't) but if they were to and it were challenged, I don't see it being upheld. Even the statute referenced above allowing for the ban of sales to sex offenders I would think would face some legal hurdles.

My opinion - learn about this person and the crime they committed and keep a watchful eye. Maybe get more people in your community involved in normal community functions. Creating strong bonds with your neighbors could help act as a deterrence to any potential crimes you fear.
MikeJ8
(Illinois)

Posts:45


11/30/2012 8:58 PM  
You have not answered the question of what did this person did 15 years ago? It is fairly easy to lookup this information. I would base my reaction on the severity of this information.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3269


06/30/2019 5:58 PM  
Posted By BrianB on 11/27/2012 12:04 PM
i always wondered why we have a sex offender registry, but not a murderer registry. Personally, I would much rather know that the guy next door likes murdering people than diddling them.




Haha, yep.

How about any felony or misdemeanor of all your neighbors. I'd be worries about that too.

Funny how you hear about hoa people stealing money from hoa's and they had previous felony arrests for the same thing years ago. Yet they were voted into office to handle the money no background check.... and BIG SURPRISE, they stole money.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8436


07/01/2019 4:03 PM  
This is a 7 years old topic. Let it die as far as the OP goes.
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