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The Terrorist Watch List and rental property

The Terrorist Watch List and rental property

Most people have heard of “the terrorist watch list,” and most people associate it with preventing potential terrorists from boarding airplanes. But the list is used for a lot of reasons beyond that, including tenant screening, and has actually been around since way back in the Carter administration.

In 1977, Congress ratified and President Carter signed the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The Act basically gives the president some emergency powers when dealing with foreign threats like terrorist organizations or rogue states. The actual administering of IEEPA is handled by another alphabet soup government agency called the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

After 9/11, Congress ratified and President Bush signed the Patriot Act. This Act further strengthened IEEPA, allowing OFAC even more power to impose sanctions on those listed on the watch list.

So, how does all of this relate to what we do with property management? Well, each background check we do on prospective tenants includes an OFAC search. This search will turn up anyone listed on the terrorist watch list. While we’ve all heard of the occasional person who is incorrectly listed and has to jump through hoops to get the list corrected, the reality is that most of the names on the list indicate people who are legitimately threats to the country. And if someone is a threat to the country, then that person is definitely not someone you want renting your house. The last thing you want is a terrorist sleeper cell setting up shop in your investment property.

This sort of thorough screening is one of the many reasons that you need a professional property manager handling your rental property. Give us a call to find out how we can better screen prospective tenants and get good renters in your property.