PRECISION LITIGATION

Would your apartment building fail a safety test?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2022 | Premises Liability |

Perhaps you’ve recently begun living on your own for the first time in your life. You’ve graduated from a Georgia college and have found an apartment that’s not far from your new workplace. Or, maybe you’re at a later stage in life and are downsizing because taking care of a single-family home was getting to be too much hassle. Perhaps you’re in your thirties or forties and have recently filed for divorce.  

No matter what the exact details of your particular circumstances might be, if you’re new to apartment living, there are several key safety issues you’ll want to keep in mind. Property owners are obligated to keep a premises safe for residents and guests. If you suffer injury because of safety negligence, the property owner may be held accountable.  

Adequate lighting is a must outdoors 

Your apartment complex might have an exterior parking lot or indoor parking garage. Either way, proper lighting is a safety must in this type of common area. If you have to walk from your vehicle to the entrance in the dark, you might trip on a crack or hole in the concrete, causing a fall and injuries, such as a sprained ankle or pulled back muscles.  

Poor lighting is a key factor in many exterior apartment areas where assaults have taken place. Even if you carry a small flashlight for personal safety, it doesn’t negate a property owner’s responsibility to install exterior lighting and to make sure it is functioning properly at all times.  

All doors and windows should have locks that work properly 

Whether you live on the ground floor of a building or take an elevator or stairs up several levels to reach your apartment, locks are a primary safety feature for all doors and windows. If you live on a floor that is several stories off the ground and you have children, it’s critical for their safety that there are properly functioning locks on the windows. 

In addition to keeping children safe from falling out a window, locks on doors and windows help keep you safe from intruders as well. If you’re touring an apartment that you’re interested in renting and notice that there are no locks or that the locks don’t work right, you can bring it to the property manager’s attention as an item in need of repair before signing a rental agreement. 

A fire sprinkler that doesn’t function properly places lives at risk 

When you’re living in an apartment, you’re sharing a building with other people. You have no way of knowing whether someone will accidentally (or intentionally) cause a fire. The fire sprinkler system in the common areas of the apartment and in your private residence must be properly maintained to keep you and other residents safe in case of fire. 

Security cameras improve apartment complex safety 

Most Georgia apartment complex owners understand the importance of installing security cameras in all common areas of their property. Law enforcement agencies often refer to surveillance film footage to help solve crimes, such as an assault that takes place in a parking lot or breaking and entering in an apartment.  

The safety obligations of property owners have been a central focus of many civil court cases where apartment residents have suffered injuries due to a property owner’s negligence.