LIVING IN AN APARTMENT? ON THE HUNT FOR A NEW APARTMENT? USE OUR APARTMENT SAFETY CHECKLIST

Trying to find an apartment is an important and sometimes stressful decision.  You must ask yourself: Where do you want to live?  How much can you afford?  Do you need or want roommates?  What amenities are included?  The most vital concern, though, should be whether you will be safe at that apartment complex.

Generally speaking, apartment complexes have a duty to take reasonable measures to keep tenants and their guests safe from foreseeable acts.  If a landlord fails to take reasonable measures to guard against anticipated dangers and someone is injured, then the landlord may be held responsible.  For example, if there had been a number of violent crimes at an apartment complex, then management has a duty to take action to prevent and deter similar crimes from occurring again; if management failed to do so and someone was injured, then the injured person may have a meritorious claim.

Just this month, there have been a number of well-publicized stories where people were injured because of criminal acts at apartment complexes: in one, an 8-year old boy was killed when gunshots were fired through his apartment door, in another, a man was shot and killed and four others, including two children, were injured at an apartment complex, and in another, police found a man shot and killed in his apartment complex parking lot.

While it is still unknown whether the apartment complexes in these stories were in any way responsible for what occurred, many apartment complexes fail to adequately protect their tenants and guests.  Apartment complexes must be aware of and evaluate criminal activity that occurs at their complexes so they can take steps to reasonably protect tenants and guests.  Some of the ways apartment complexes can protect tenants and guests is by installing fencing at the property boundaries, controlled-access entrances, video surveillance, proper lighting, security guards, and by providing warnings.

As lawyers who represent folks that are injured at apartment complexes, people often want to know what questions they should ask or what they should look for when considering a new apartment.  So, Butler Tobin created an Apartment Safety Checklist that you can use to evaluate your current apartment (and report any concerns to management) and use when looking for a new apartment.  Every person should be safe and feel safe in their home, and we hope our checklist will help you do both.

Crime victims and other lawyers routinely turn to Butler Tobin for help in these “negligent security” or “premises liability” cases because our lawyers have a history of successfully resolving these cases.  If you or someone you know has been a victim of a crime at an apartment complex, please give us a call for a free consultation.

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