Is it legal for my landlord to have a maintenance man working for him who is an habitual sex offender and who also has keys to my home?

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Is it legal for my landlord to have a maintenance man working for him who is an habitual sex offender and who also has keys to my home?

My landlord did not notify me that our maintenance man is a habitual sex offender. Should I have been notified? Also, he holds a key to our house and knows my floor plan and where my child’s room is at.

Asked on September 1, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The landlord has a duty to maintain your safety while you rent his apartment.  The obligation to do so varies from state to state with regard to sex offenders and what the obligation of the landlord is legally to the tenants when he is aware of the situation.  It also varies on the facts.  In other words, that the sex offender lives down the hall, probably.  That the sex offender used to reside in your apartment, probably not.  Here, though, is a situation that would make the hair on the back of my neck stand up as well.  Allowing him access to apartments with children by giving him keys does not seem to be a prudent gesture even though it may not be against the law per se.  I would speak with an attorney in your area as soon as you can on this matter as soon as possible.  Technically you can not install locks in the apartment without giving your landlord a key so act quickly on this issue.  Good luck.


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