I was trying to locate a contractor that I worked with on a project in another state. I had lost touch with him, and we had spent quite a bit of time together, renovating a 2 unit home I had purchased. The area was very remote, and he lived fairly close by. Jake (not real name) talked about his wife, his hobbies and seemed to be pleasant enough and easy to work with.
I called several of his references before I hired him, and they all had outstanding things to say about him. I found him from an ad in a local newspaper.
Today I did some research on Google and found out that he was a convicted Class 1 sex offender since last year. I almost fell off my chair! It was an involvement with an 11 year old girl. I shuddered to think of the precarious position I had placed myself in, unknowingly. (Yet how can one predict the future behaviour of another person?)
The lesson I learned:
Do background checks on any and ALL contractors and handymen who have access to your properties. If something happens to a tenant, you could be held liable.