If you witness criminal activity at your rental or apartment home, it’s normal to be wondering if anything could be done to stop the crime from occurring.
While your landlord might not reside in the house and isn’t directly involved in the crime It’s still their duty. A recent case on the news shows the importance of landlords to consider security for their property seriously.
Family Killed After No Locks Changed
Ruth Esther Reyes de Severino as well as her 5- and 2-year-old kids were killed by her husband who later committed suicide in February of 2020, in Penns Grove, New Jersey.
The family of Severino is currently in court against his apartment building, its owner as well as other parties involved in the administration of the property. They are suing for the wrongful death of a person or negligence or breach of contract as well as negligent hire.
The suit accuses the property managers and property owners of refusing Severino’s repeated requests to alter the locks on her home. A month prior, a judge approved her demand for a restraining injunction against her spouse, whom she accused of threats to murder her.
The suit stated that in actual fact Severino “begged” management to change locks at least five times. Her husband used the keys to gain entry into the house and commit the murders.
Landlords Have a Duty To Provide a Safe Environment
If you bring a case for negligence, you’re declaring to the judge that the defendant was under an obligation to protect you, but didn’t meet that obligation and the failure led to injuries.
However, the law doesn’t provide many duties for people who aren’t related.
You don’t have any obligation to the random person who walks by, even though it is nice to advised them of the ice that’s on the sidewalk. However, you have a duty towards individuals you have a established relationship with.
There’s a responsibilities between children and parents as well as between patients and doctors as well as between both tenants and landlords. This is the last obligation that can make your landlord responsible in the event that your building is an area of crime.
Landlords are bound by certain obligations in the protection of tenants. This includes ensuring that structures comply with local safety laws. In reality this is how the Severino family’s lawsuit alleges that the management company did not follow the local law that was passed in response to a fatal shooting in the same location.
What Should Landlords Do?
If your landlord discovers that the premises are unsafe or a crime is committed or a tenant informs them of a concern, they need to change the property in a timely manner.. This could include:
- Placing bars on a street-level window
- Installing a motion-sensor lighting near the staircase or front door
- Ensure that the locks as well as other security features are in place.
- Window maintenance and other windows.
What Should You Do?
If you or a guest suffer injury due to an incident, and the landlord has failed to fulfill his specific obligation to protect tenants If this is the case, an action may be the best option.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot take action against your landlord for the reason that the apartment you lived in didn’t have an alarm system. Security in the building must be adequate however, it’s not always perfect.
If a crime occurs or you feel uneasy However, it’s essential to notify your landlord to ensure they know about the situation. It’s possible that it will suffice to make modifications to ensure safety.
If your landlord isn’t ready to make improvements to the safety of his building then you should look into consulting with an attorney regarding the options. Keep all communications with your landlord to record your efforts to fix the issue. A lawyer can assist you determine if you be able to terminate the lease and move into more secure surroundings without incurring a financial cost.