Background Checks

When you buy a park do you do background checks on all the tenants? Do you have them fill out new applications allowing you to run the background check and have them list everyone living in the home?

Thanks,

Leighnae Fabian

Having bought a whopping ONE park (I’m a real expert), I sure wouldn’t. What would you do if you found something bad? Kick out a paying tenant? I’d want to see their payment history, and talk to some of the residents; they’d love to squeal on one of their own who is causing problems. If they’re living quiet lives, and paying their rent, I wouldn’t care about their background.

ALTHOUGH…I was surprised to have a renter for a while who ended up being a level-2 sex offender. The other residents were nervous for awhile, until the guy proved to be completely benign. So, I would run by the police station and ask them if there is anyone in the park who THEY think I should know about.

Dave,

I know your properties are here in Arizona but for others reference in some states there is a gray area in the law about sex offenders being a protected class (not kidding). Many owners and managers won’t screen for that before moving in a resident in California solely due to that gray area. I would suggest talking to your lawyer or your local association before proceeding down the path of running a background check on anything more than credit.

John

Leighnae -

We always do a search on www.familywatchdog.us. So far, we’ve never purchased a property with a sex offender in it, but if we did (and if the state allowed us to remove someone for that reason), we would. You’ll find some of your best tenants look at that site, and will not move into your community if you have sex offenders living in it. That site offers an alert service to send you a text or email whenever a sex offender moves in (or near) your property. Obviously you can’t do anything about the ‘near’ sex offenders, but you can about the ‘in’ sex offenders. We had a case three years ago when a tenant’s sex-offender son moved back in with his Dad. It popped up on my alert, plus I had a call that same-day from one of my better tenants who got the same alert and wanted us to do something about it (which we did).

As regards other general criminal background checks, no we don’t check the backgrounds of ‘inherited’ tenants. We do enforce strict no-pay no-stay, and honestly, that policy gets rid of most of your most unreliable tenants who would be most likely to fail your background check if you did one.

We do distribute a new set of rules, and a new lease. Both become effective in most states in 30 days, even if residents don’t sign the lease or acknowledge the rules and regulations.

I suggest you do the same:

  1. new set of rules

  2. new leases

  3. only evict sex offenders

  4. evict all who do not pay their rent

My 2 cents worth,

-jl-

:0)

Thanks for your help!

Leighnae

Leighnae, when purchasing new Mobile Home Parks, we do not
do Background Checks on the Existing Tenants. 

However, for New, Prospective Tenants we do perform
Background Checks.

We also do as Jefferson suggested after purchasing a new
Mobile Home Park:‘distribute a new set of rules, and a new lease’.

In South Carolina the South Carolina Law Enforcement
Division (SLED) maintains a Database of Sexual Offenders at:

http://www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54575

In terms of Background Checks, specifically Sexual
Offenders, please be aware that only the ‘Law Abiding Sexual Offenders’ will
show up on these websites.

I worked at a South Carolina Solicitor’s Office (Prosecutes
Criminals).  As part of my job I would
run Background Checks on all the Prosecuted Sexual Offenders who ‘forgot’ to
register their ‘new addresses’ when they moved (this was a large number).Thus, please just be aware that just because no Prosecuted
Sexual Offenders show up in your Park it does not necessarily mean that they
are not living there.