Landlords, like all property owners, have to keep their facilities safe for visiting members of the public. Landlords have an additional layer of responsibility because they must provide safe and habitable living spaces.
They usually have maintenance responsibilities for the critical systems, like the furnace and the electrical wiring. Additionally, landlords should take reasonable steps to protect their tenants from the very real possibility of criminal activity.
While no landlord can fully eradicate local criminal activity, there are certain steps that they can take to protect their tenants and to deter opportunistic criminals from targeting the people who live at their property.
How can landlords reduce the likelihood of criminal activity in their buildings or on their premises?
Hire security professional
Any place where there is a high density of people living close to one another, there is an elevated risk of criminal activity. Not only do landlords need to consider the possibility that people may try to break into the units to rob them, but they may need to have security professionals patrol to protect against the possibility of assaults or domestic violence. On-site security professionals can do a lot to deter criminal activity.
Install proper lighting
Both hidden stairwells and external alleys are dark spaces where criminals are more likely to attack someone. Adequate lighting will do a lot to keep criminals from targeting a specific location. Some research shows that security lights can reduce local criminal activity by as much as 39%. Motion-activated lights can keep power costs reasonable while still illuminating areas that criminals might target.
Placing conspicuous security cameras
Lighting alone won’t be enough to stop a criminal from targeting a tenant or their personal property. Adding security cameras to high-traffic areas and locations that the public cannot readily view can serve as a potent reminder to criminals that there will be accountability for their actions. As an added bonus, the footage captured by the security cameras can aid in a swift prosecution of thieves and assailants.
When landlords fail to take common-sense steps that would prevent criminal activity or at least assist in the prosecution of criminals who target their tenants, they may have at least partial liability for the financial losses that tenants or visitors incur. Evaluating the circumstances of your robbery or assault can help you decide if you may have a viable premises liability claim.