Landlords must conduct proper tenant screenings to reduce risks of violence

In some cases, despite thorough background checks by landlords, issues of violence can occur resulting in tenants being asked to leave for violating provisions of a lease.

One example of this recently occurred in Grandville, Michigan, when a man was shot and killed at Wimbledon Apartments. The victim, a visitor to the complex, was shot in the head with a .45-caliber handgun and one of the residents is being looked at as a suspect. The owner of the property where the homicide occurred, Land and Co. Apartments, said that though the suspect and former tenant had passed a resident screening, the fact that there was a gun violated the lease.

"The individuals involved in the shooting were not leaseholders or registered tenants of the apartment," Land and Co. said in a statement. "It is believed, however, that one of the registered occupants of the apartment did dial 911. There were no prior lease violations against the leaseholders nor was any known criminal history identified during a recent lease renewal background check."

While there is no sure-fire way to ensure that such crimes don't occur, getting as much information as possible is important. Rental property management firms should take the time to collect pertinent data such as criminal histories before leasing to applicants.