Phil Querin Q&A: Non-Resident Sexual Predator Working in Community

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Phil Querin

Question: A resident has a yard maintenance person come to their space once a week to cut the grass and maintain the yard. He is on a sexual predator list and some residents do not want him working in the park. What can the landlord do?

Answer: ORS 90.630(3), the statute governing the issuance of 30-day notices of termination in manufactured housing communities, permits a landlord to issue a 30-day notice to a tenant who is '_classified as a level three sex offender under ORS 181.800 (3)[1] or is determined to be a predatory sex offender under ORS 181.838... ."[2] The notice is non-curable, and must so state.

I point this statute out simply to underscore that protections exist inside the park to unilaterally issue a 30-day non-curable termination notice if a resident is determined to be a sex offender. The rationale for the law is fairly obvious - the presence of a sexual predator inside the community creates an inherent danger to other residents and their guests.

Of course, the statute only addresses other tenants. It says nothing about invitees of tenants who may come into the community to provide materials or other services, which is what your question deals with. However, a guest or invitee who is a sexual predator is no less of a threat when he's inside the community than a resident who is a sexual predator. For that reason, i.e. the safety and security of other residents, you should act promptly. Before doing so, though, be sure that you personally verify that he is a registered sex offender, and, if possible, obtain a copy of the document verifying it for your records. Then proceed as follows:

  1. Contact the resident for whom the person is working and tell him or her of the community's concern, and ask that the worker be told that due to his criminal record he may no longer come into the community. If the resident agrees to cooperate, that should suffice. [Note: This approach assumes that the resident is cooperative in nature, and there is little or no risk that he will return. If the resident is uncooperative, then proceed to No. 2 below.]
  2. If the resident refuses to cooperate, then you will have to escalate the matter. Deliver a No-Trespassing notice to the resident to give to the maintenance person, saying that he may no longer come to the community for any reason. The letter should say that if he violates this demand, you will call the police and have him removed as a trespasser. [Note: My preference would be to deliver it to the workman (with copy to resident) personally, since that way you'll know he has actual notice. However, I would leave the decision to you. If you do it in person, make sure you have another witness with you. You may want to first speak to the local police department regarding this approach, since some may have specific protocols they want followed if they are to later be called upon to enforce it.]

The use of a trespass letter can be helpful in many scenarios where there is a person coming into the community that causes upset to other residents. In many cases - and perhaps even in your case - the problem guest is a relative of the resident, which accounts for their willingness to have them there notwithstanding their past criminal conduct. But remember, as a park owner [this is not something managers should do without the owner's express knowledge and consent] you have a duty to avoid dangerous situations you become aware of, and the frequent presence of a known registered sexual predator in the community certainly qualifies.

[1] ORS 181.800(3) provides that a '_level three sex offender who presents the highest risk of reoffending and requires the widest range of notification."

[2] ORS 181.838 relates to juveniles, and provides that (1) '_a person is a predatory sex offender if the person: (a) Is required to report as a sex offender under ORS 181.809 as the result of a finding that the person committed an act that if committed by an adult in this state would constitute a predatory sex offense; and (b) Exhibits characteristics showing a tendency to victimize or injure others. (2) In determining whether a person is a predatory sex offender, an agency shall use a sex offender risk assessment tool approved by the Department of Corrections or a community corrections agency. (3) As used in this section, "predatory sex offense" means a sex crime listed in ORS 181.805 (5)(a) to (d) or an attempt to commit a sex crime listed in ORS 181.805 (5)(a) to (d), if the sex crime is classified as a felony.

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