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Subject: Sexual Predator restrictions
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Author Messages
JohnD73
(Florida)

Posts:1


04/24/2021 11:31 AM  
NW Florida HOA. Just learned of a two-time convicted sexual predator moving in our community. What are the checkpoints on this, and if it can be prevented. The wife's name is on the record of purchase, but the husband is the convict. There is a registered child care home within' 1000 feet. Is there a legal contest to this sale/purchase by the HOA? I just received the estoppel request today.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10584


04/24/2021 11:33 AM  
Nope. Local laws apply. Your HOA isn't a bubble. Plus atleast you know they were convicted and did their time. It's the ones that haven't been I worry about.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17841


04/24/2021 11:40 AM  
I would check with the local law enforcement.
You could also review the statute on registered sex offenders for your State.

This is a tricky area because you are on the board.
To protect the Association, you should check with an attorney prior to making any statements or comments outside of a normal estoppel request.
AugustinD


Posts:1905


04/24/2021 12:23 PM  
JohnD73, I second TimB4's recommendation that the Board talk with the HOA attorney. By way of preparing for the meeting with the attorney:

-- I suggest the Board review Florida Statute 775.215 Residency restriction for persons convicted of certain sex offenses.—. It states in part:
"(2)(a) A person who has been convicted of a violation of s. 794.011, s. 800.04, s. 827.071, s. 847.0135(5), or s. 847.0145, regardless of whether adjudication has been withheld, in which the victim of the offense was less than 16 years of age, may not reside within 1,000 feet of any school, child care facility, park, or playground. However, a person does not violate this subsection and may not be forced to relocate if he or she is living in a residence that meets the requirements of this subsection and a school, child care facility, park, or playground is subsequently established within 1,000 feet of his or her residence." -- See http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0775/0775.html

-- It does appear that in recent years, and per Florida law firm guidance, some Florida HOAs have lawfully amended their Declarations to prohibit sexual offenders as Owners. But you absolutely must check on this with an attorney, for the reason below.

-- The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the Fair Housing Act. In recent years HUd has begun issuing 'guidance' on how in some instances, refusing to rent to a convicted felon may be unlawful discrimination, depending on the facts. By my reading at this time, HUD's guidance does not seem to apply to those convicted felons who are sex offenders. HUD's interpretation of the FHA for convicted felons is evolving. Hence I feel that consulting an attorney is important.

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


04/24/2021 1:20 PM  
At our attorney's recommendation, my community voted to approve an amendment to our Declaration that prohibits Tier 2 and Tier 3 sexual offenders from living in the community. They may own property here, but they may not live in it themselves.

Once the person is living in your community, there isn't a whole lot an HOA can do. You may want to find out if there are any schools or day care centers nearby and what your state's laws have to say about how close a convicted sexual offender may live to these facilities.
AugustinD


Posts:1905


04/24/2021 3:58 PM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 04/24/2021 1:20 PM
At our attorney's recommendation, my community voted to approve an amendment to our Declaration that prohibits Tier 2 and Tier 3 sexual offenders from living in the community. They may own property here, but they may not live in it themselves.
According to your HOA attorney and for legal reasons, was prohibiting ownership by a sex offender (using the covenant amendment process) not an option?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


04/25/2021 5:09 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 04/24/2021 3:58 PM
Posted By CathyA3 on 04/24/2021 1:20 PM
At our attorney's recommendation, my community voted to approve an amendment to our Declaration that prohibits Tier 2 and Tier 3 sexual offenders from living in the community. They may own property here, but they may not live in it themselves.
According to your HOA attorney and for legal reasons, was prohibiting ownership by a sex offender (using the covenant amendment process) not an option?




I think they said that we couldn't legally prevent anyone from owning property, and could only control how it's used.

Ohio Revised Code Section 2950 is Ohio’s version of New Jersey’s “Megan’s Law” which was enacted in response to the rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka. Code Section 2950 defines 3 classes of sexual offenders: “sexual predators,” “habitual sex offenders,” and “sexually oriented offenders.” Each class represents a different type of crime and has different obligations for both the State and HOAs/COAs. Tier 1, or sexually oriented offenders, includes people like the older of two high school sweethearts who gets nabbed when he/she turns 18 and the younger is still a minor. Tier 3, the predators, are the most worrisome if they live in your neighborhood because of the high likelihood of re-offending.

To minimize the association's liability, our attorneys also said that if the sheriff notifies a board, or if a board learns that some of its residents have been notified by the sheriff of the address of a “sexual predator,” the board would be well advised to adopt a policy calling for duplication of the sheriff’s letter and distribution to all residents. For the middle tier, they recommended a notice in the newsletter or elsewhere that the board has been notified of the possible presence of a sexual offender in the community and referring people to the sheriff's website for further info (balancing privacy issues for the convicted person vs. minimizing liability for the association).
AugustinD


Posts:1905


04/25/2021 6:47 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 04/25/2021 5:09 AM
To minimize the association's liability, our attorneys also said that if the sheriff notifies a board, or if a board learns that some of its residents have been notified by the sheriff of the address of a “sexual predator,” the board would be well advised to adopt a policy calling for duplication of the sheriff’s letter and distribution to all residents. For the middle tier, they recommended a notice in the newsletter or elsewhere that the board has been notified of the possible presence of a sexual offender in the community and referring people to the sheriff's website for further info (balancing privacy issues for the convicted person vs. minimizing liability for the association).
Wow. I had no idea. But it makes sense. As an academic matter, I wonder what options this leaves certain classes of convicted sexual predator for housing.

Thank you.
AugustinD


Posts:1905


04/25/2021 6:56 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 04/24/2021 12:23 PM
-- It does appear that in recent years, and per Florida law firm guidance, some Florida HOAs have lawfully amended their Declarations to prohibit sexual offenders as Owners.
Based on what CathyA3 posted, I checked the news articles I was reading. I misread. The ban on certain classes of sexual predators was on living at the HOA. The signs are that sexual predators may still own a home.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4284


04/28/2021 6:56 AM  
Someone asked about this in my community years ago, and our association attorney said there wasn't much we could do. It would be different if we were close to a school, but the closest elementary school is about a half mile away. The best we could do is suggest that parents check an online website that states where sex offenders live (the ones who have to register and provide this information.

the attorney said If the association said the person lived in the community and some went after him or her, the association could risk being held liable, so our security officer (an off duty cop) suggested homeowners be told the association had no control over this and they'd have to educate their kids on stranger danger and that type of thing. A HOA in a suburb to the south of my area tried to pass an ordinance banning sex offenders altogether and found out quickly they couldn't do it

In our case, someone rented a townhouse and I think the landlord found out about the conviction later (not from us) and terminated the lease.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3615


07/04/2021 8:11 AM  
I just received the estoppel request today.




I would include a friendly brochure for the child care center with the estoppel letter. Very close by, only 1000 ft away.

If he still moves in after that, call the sheriff. Its a law enforcement issue.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1462


07/04/2021 9:29 AM  
Not a damn thing you can do about it. I had a tier 2 offender live next to me. We weren't even properly notified by the police that a T2 was living next door. They lived there or should I say, that was their registered address. The renter even decorated for halloween which is a BIG no no and the police didn't do a damn thing. To top it off their home is less than 200 feet from the community pool. IMHO the only safe place for sex offenders, especially child predators is the dust tray for a crematory retort.
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