Sex offender searches are becoming very common in the multi-family. It is even mandatory for some goverment financed properties.
It's a frightening thought. There are thousands of registered sex offenders out there, all looking for some place to live. And chances are, if you have a rental property, you will eventually encounter some of these people looking to rent your property. While some people think it's a worthwhile risk, others don't want to take the risk, and want to find someone with a cleaner past. In the past, you would have had to just go with your gut instinct on whether someone was trustworth or not. But with modern technology and background checking, you can find out instantly if someone is on a sex offender list, and you can make an informed choice as to whether you want to rent to them or not.
The fact is, you can't always tell if someone is trustworth just from their appearance. In fact, that's how many shady characters manage to stay under the radar so long... they get very, very good at fooling people and making them think they're trustworthy. And maybe some sex offenders have learned their lesson, and it's worth taking the risk. But it needs to be an informed decision, so you know what you're getting into, and take the proper precautions to ensure that there aren't any surprises in the future.
Some tenant screening companies are including registered sex offender searches with their tenant credit reports. Sex Offender searches can be performed via the internet using an online screening company.