Property owners’ responsibility in preventing violent crimes

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2020 | Premises Liability |

A recent sojourn to Atlanta was meant to be one of relaxation and enjoyment after months of being cooped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. But during your stay at a hotel, you were the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack that left you battered, bruised and robbed. Shocking and outrageous.

Your assault likely was preventable and remains a prime example of a premises liability case. Property owners of places such as hotels, condos, parking ramps, office buildings and businesses remain responsible for the safety of residents and guests. Protection is crucial against known risks, and these property owners may be liable for your injuries.

Lighting, security, locks and cameras

When property owners fail to take reasonable precautions pertaining to security, they open themselves up to a great amount of second-guessing, criticism and legal entanglements. Here are some of the issues that can lead to violent crimes on properties:

  • Poor lighting: Dimly lit hallways, doorways, parking ramps and parking lots can lead to a recipe for a violent crime. In the dark, criminals can much more easily stalk their victims. Improved lighting is essential.
  • Failing to closely monitor entrances, exits and common areas: Hotels and condos must do this to prevent suspicious people from having free reign on their property.
  • Non-existent or inoperable security cameras: The presence of security cameras often is a deterrent to criminal behavior. Without them, how can a staff monitor the goings-on, and how can property owners claim they protect residents and guests?
  • Inoperable and ineffective locks on doors and windows: Do not make things easier for criminals seeking to attack and rob innocent people. Secure locks are effective security measures.
  • Lack of security or hiring unqualified staff members: Low numbers of security employees mean better opportunities for crimes to occur. There is strength in numbers. On top of that, property owners must hire individuals experienced with security.

A lax view of security by property owners threatens the safety of unsuspecting individuals. It sometimes leads to violent crimes that likely would not have happened if preventative measures were stressed and in place. And as a resident or guest of such properties, you must remain vigilant.