Profile picture for Hodiinftjones

How do you get the word out about a sociopathic tenant?

I had a MD tenant in my executive home who trashed the place out, the sued when I kept about 25% (under $800) of his security deposit to clean up his mess (my cost).  Won in court, but lost on the appeal.  In the meantime, this guy tried to solicit letters from tradesmen I sent to the house, as well as neighbors and the current tenants, that I'm the bad guy.  In 25 years of landlording I've never experienced anything like this guy. 95% of my tenants get all of their deposits back; I'm empathetic and a good landlord, jumping on problems promptly. How do I warn other prospective landlords about this guy?
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August 02 2012 - US
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Profile picture for Phillipmcg
Sociopaths comprise 4% of the population at a minimum. However since they are always running from their last victim, they are on the move a lot. They can usually talk good game to divert people from that, and usually have other sociopathic accomplices to use as references. The good thing is your intuition will now be able to hone in on this type much easier than before. Please note: don't use the term sociopath to describe them when telling others. It's not a tactic that will make you look credible, however true the statement is. Also, many judges and police are sociopaths who will cover for them. Just present evidence.
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September 27 2012
Most states have a database of civil and criminal actions. Some states allow access for free while others charge for access. Most landlords (at least the smart ones) do a background check before leasing. Whether the past court actions show up in the search may depend on the state and what is recorded in state records.
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August 02 2012
Profile picture for Hodiinftjones
Thanks for the wise comments.  I'll never hear from this fellow again; he bought and moved on. And I've become wise to the whole court nightmare. I was hoping there was a database of public material that someone's compiled of tenants who have sued their landlords. I want to get the word out to some kind of registry.
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August 02 2012
Profile picture for sunnyview
I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. Most tenants appreciate good landlords, but there are always exceptions. You have choice to make about what kind of reference to give this tenant when the next landlord calls, but you need to be careful and stick to the facts truth based strictly on the documented condition of the property the way it was left, the payment history and a simple yes or no about whether you would choose to rent to him again.

Smart landlords understand this type of tenant and stick to the facts without any emotion or they offer to provide a carefully worded statement or email in writing as opposed to a phone call which could be misinterpreted. I would run any statement past your attorney to be on the safe side with this type of tenant,
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August 02 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
"sociopathic"?  Intentionally libel?  Are you "asking" to be sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars of "personal damages"?  Do you have medical evidence of your assumed diagnosis?

If you are given as a "reference" and future landlords contact you, you are free to express your opinions and personal experience.  Other than that, it sounds like you are asking for personal financial and emotional "trouble" for yourself.

It may be best to just "move on", especially if is only $800 of damages that we are talking about.

Just try to do better on the interviews and screenings for your next tenant.  Perhaps that is one reason many prefer not to be landlords?
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August 02 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
All owners of rental properties need a good attorney.  Now's the time to consult with yours.
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August 02 2012
 
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