When is a landlord responsible for crimes at an apartment building?

The apartment you rent is your home, which means it is supposed to be a place where you feel and actually are safe. Unfortunately, some tenants living in Colorado rental units could find themselves the victims of crime while in or right outside of their home.

Obviously, the criminal who attacked you or stole from you is responsible for their own actions. However, in some circumstances, your landlord could also have some liability for criminal activity on the premises. When does a crime become the partial fault of a property owner?

Inadequate security is a common premises liability issue

Your landlord has an obligation to you as a tenant. They should make every effort to keep the property safe. Most of the time, a landlord’s obligations will primarily involve fixing a leaky ceiling or changing the locks between tenants so that previous residents can’t just let themselves into your place.

However, your landlord should also prioritize the security of the premises and its residents — especially if there are higher rates of crime in your neighborhood. Hiring a security guard, adding security cameras to the inside shared spaces and outdoor areas like parking lots or even investing in keyed door entry for the front door of the building could all go a long way toward reducing the risk of crime that tenants face.

If a landlord fails to take adequate security measures and a crime that was easily foreseeable due to the lack of security occurs, they may have some liability for that crime. Reviewing the conditions of the property and the circumstances of the crime you were a victim of with an attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a claim against your landlord for premises liability due to inadequate security.

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