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No background checks leaves neighbors fearful after drug arrest

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 20:21:49-05

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- A drug arrest that happened four days ago in a Punta Gorda neighborhood, left neighbors fearful for their safety when finding out the landlord of the property didn't require background checks for the tenants arrested. 

“My kids sleep about 50 yards from where that happened," said James Malaspino, one of DK Real Estate's customers. 

Malaspino says that DK Real Estate did not require him to get a background check in order to move him, his wife and two kids into their house. Then Thursday there were two separate overdose incidents, leading police to arrest Christopher Andre and Charles Andre at 4725 Knollwood Dr, right across the street from the Malaspino family. According to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, they found cocaine, methamphetamine, and THC. 

The Andres are customers of DK Real Estate and were not required to do background checks, according to DK Real Estate Agent, Kree Kirkman, the manager of the property. 

“We don’t discriminate in regards to race, religion, or background checks," explained Kirkman. 

Kirkman told Fox 4, that he only does background checks when there is suspicion after checking employment history and previous addresses lived. 

However, Malaspino says that the drug arrest was the last straw and plans on moving out of the neighborhood in the next couple of weeks. 

“Right now, my main concern is getting my family out of dangerous situation safely, if that involves moving that’s what we’ll do.” 

Fox 4 looked into Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, and there is no law that requires a landlord to conduct a background check.