Man Who Posed as Rental Applicant Pleads Guilty in Landlord’s Death

by Chris on October 31, 2011

A young Omaha man has admitted his role in the death of a landlord who believed she was showing him a property to rent.

The landlord had just served the current tenant with eviction papers, and then advertised the vacancy.

The 20-year-old man who responded is the half-brother of the evicted tenant.  Police say he posed as a rental applicant in order to lure the landlord over to the property, where he and his sister then murdered the woman.

According to a report in the local news, the man agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and using a deadly weapon. The plea deal was offered in exchange for his testimony against his sister regarding her role in the death.

The landlord was reported missing five days before police found her body.

After a similar case that resulted in the death of a realtor at an open house, a number of real estate associations and police departments have called upon landlords and other real estate professionals to use extra care when showing properties.

This year, Moby launched a Smartphone application with a GPS feature and panic button. Moby released the results of its Real Estate Safety survey which found while 55% of respondents have safety concerns while showing properties, 13% do nothing to protect themselves. 

Our blog post, One Risk a Landlord Cannot Afford to Ignore, contains some tips on how you may be able to improve your safety while showing properties. At the very least, a landlord should prequalify an applicant over the phone, and demand to meet  face-to-face to prescreen the applicant in a neutral location before taking them to the property.   Sometimes this vigilance alone  is enough to spook a would-be criminal.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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