Get Sexual Predator Information Before You Buy New House

CLEVELAND – There is no law in Cuyahoga County that requires real-estate agents to tell potential home buyers that there might be a sexual predator living in the neighborhood, so before you buy a new house, a new Web page is likely the only way to get that important information, 19/43 News' Ed Gallek reported.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department now shows where convicted sex offenders are living. All you have to do is surf over to their updated Web site.

Getting that info ahead of time could avoid the kind of surprise that 19/43 News gave a Euclid mother earlier this week. After showing her a list of registered sex offenders that are living in Euclid, she found out that her next-door neighbor is a predator.

If you're looking to move, you probably should do your own homework.

The Ohio Association of Realtors said that home sellers and realtors are not required to tell you if they know that people convicted of sex crimes live nearby. Realty companies have many different policies for how they handle this problem.

Tony Apotsos, who is a broker with Realty Professionals on Cleveland's west side, said that he thinks the new Web site could help a lot. He pointed out, however, that it gets tricky trying to say for sure who's in which neighborhood.

"With this bit of information, it'll satisfy some nerves out there," Apotsos said. "But convicts are so mobile, I wonder whether this site will be able to keep up with them as to where they live and where they've moved to and from."

In Cuyahoga County more than 1,000 sex offenders have to report to authorities every time they move. Deputies said that they would keep the Web page updated.

Surfers should take note that the county only has the 100 most dangerous predators currently on the sheriff's department's recently updated site. They said that the rest would be added soon.

Sheriff's in Lake, Medina, Stark and Summit counties also have similar Web pages. The complete list of links are listed below. Just click on a county, and you'll be taken to its Web site, where you will be able to access sexual offender information.