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Who is Responsible for Apartment Security?

Landlords have an established duty to protect their tenants. That duty requires they offer tenants the same protection as any other place of business. Still, extenuating circumstances may cause tenants to question who is responsible for apartment security.

Landlord Responsibilities

Generally, apartment buildings should include,

  • Adequate lighting inside and outside the premises.

  • Exterior locks and gates to discourage unauthorized entry.

  • Locks for each apartment.

  • Windows kept in good repair.

  • Trained security personnel

  • Monitored Security Cameras

Not only must landlords take steps to prevent negligent security, they must also take steps to prevent repeat crime and incidents that would threaten the wellbeing of their tenants.

For example, if one tenant assaulted another, the landlord would have a duty to evict the violent tenant. If they did not, and the tenant assaulted someone again, the landlord could be held liable for negligent security.

It’s important to recognize that negligent security only comes into play in the case of a violent crime. If, for example, you return to your apartment and find everything missing, the landlord would not be liable for negligent security, even if an unlocked door and a sleeping security guard allowed the crime to occur.

Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants have few responsibilities compared to landlords. The majority of apartment tenants will not experience an incident where the victim could claim negligent security. For a tenant to hold liability for a negligent security claim, the victim must still meet the four criteria.

1. Someone was the victim of a violent crime while in the tenant’s residence.

2. The victim was a guest of the apartment tenant

3. The tenant did not provide adequate security at the time of the crime (usually open windows or unlocked doors)

4. The crime would not have occurred with proper security

Whether you’re the victim of a violent crime or a tenant, you should consult an attorney to determine a tenant’s responsibility for apartment security.

If you were the victim of a violent crime due to negligent security measures, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced premises liability attorney from Pratt Clay to evaluate your claim, please send us an email or call (404) 998-5258.