Because this time of year is so busy, apartment availability becomes scarce and prices soar. And even had you learned the details, a decision to rent nevertheless would not have been illegal. The Duartes' attorney, Richard Gladden, is more optimistic. There are a lot of properties your locator will not show you. Your fear that neighbors will react negatively to your new tenant is well-founded. Duarte's wife, Wynjean, began looking for a home while her husband was still in prison, though Lewisville's sex offender registrar cautioned against it, just in case a day care went up nearby before his release. When the offender is homeless and no longer registering at his home address, the whole point of the registration system tracking the whereabouts of a registrant is frustrated. Ask leasing agents whether a property allows tenants with felonies or evictions. For the most part, leases provide some wiggle room when it comes to negotiation.
Janet Portman is an attorney and managing editor at Nolo. It never hurts to ask. Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. The person on the other end of the phone will just repeat what he or she has been instructed to tell tenants who complain about rent hikes. Neighbors who learn that a registered offender lives in their midst have often reacted strongly, demanding that the offender move away. To avoid this, try moving during the off-season. It was where the girls had grown up and gone to school, and it provided easy access to Wynjean's two jobs. Be aware of this when your locator is recommending properties. The Duartes' attorney, Richard Gladden, is more optimistic. Courts have routinely held that residency restrictions, along with sex-offender registries and, in some cases, post-incarceration civil commitment, are "not punitive, not a form of punishment. The few challenges to residency restrictions that have been successful have been in cases in which offenders are forced out of homes they've been residing in -- a situation some courts have ruled violated the Fifth Amendment -- and laws that apply to offenders convicted before residency restrictions went into effect passed, which some state courts have deemed illegal. As an apartment locator, you should know that your clients have access to a ton of information online. On Tuesday, though, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the Duartes do have standing to bring their suit and that their relocation to Lake Dallas in after the district court awarded Lewisville summary judgment didn't change that. If your rent is getting raised significantly, ask for answers. If you think the locator is trying to avoid showing you those apartments, ask whether the locator works with those properties and also how much the locator would receive in commission if you lease there. Because this time of year is so busy, apartment availability becomes scarce and prices soar. So in , the couple sued the city in federal court, claiming that its sex-offender residency restriction was unconstitutional. District Judge Ron Clark granted the city of Lewisville's motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the Duartes lacked standing to bring the suit. If it seems way lower than what you expect, it might be a sign that the apartment is in a not-so-desirable neighborhood. Upon his release from prison in , he moved into the motel room. But legalities are one thing, and practicalities are another. In these ads, prices and availability rarely are updated. Ask leasing agents whether a property allows tenants with felonies or evictions. While I do believe using a locator offers plenty of benefits, you also should do some research of your own. The average of these three is usually a good starting point.
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