Landlord Liability for Crimes Occurring on Rental Properties
In Arizona, all property owners are required to use a certain degree of care in keeping their premises safe for visitors. This responsibility, however, is especially high for certain types of property owners, including landlords, who must not only keep their properties in good condition, but must also take steps to protect tenants from becoming the victims of crime. Unfortunately, many landlords fail to take these steps, which can have devastating consequences for tenants, so if you were the victim of a crime while on your landlord’s property and you have questions about liability, consider reaching out to our experienced Yuma personal injury lawyers for help.
Landlords owe what is referred to as a duty of care to their tenants. This means that they must take certain steps to keep their property safe. While, when it comes to crime, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a landlord is responsible for preventing all types of crime on their property, it does require that they take reasonable steps to keep tenants safe. Examples of reasonable safety measures include:
- Complying with local safety codes;
- Ensuring that all tenants have properly working door locks;
- Ensuring that windows are properly secured, especially on the ground floor;
- Making sure that parking lots, garages, stairwells, entryways, and sidewalks are well-lit;
- Putting motion sensing lights around the property; and
- Keeping shrubbery trimmed to provide a clear line of sight to tenants.
If a property is in a high-crime area, or certain types of offenses have occurred on the premises, on previous occasions, then a landlord may also need to take additional steps, like installing security cameras on the property and ensuring that any on-site staff or property managers are well-versed in crime prevention measures. Even conducting regular inspections of a property can go a long way towards preventing certain types of crimes from being committed.
Recovering Damages from a Negligent Landlord
If a tenant becomes the victim of a crime that could have been prevented if a landlord had taken precautionary measures, then he or she could be entitled to compensatory damages. These damages could include reimbursement for any medical bills or treatment if the crime involved a physical assault, as well as compensation for any damaged or stolen property. Victims who must miss work because they are pursuing criminal charges or are recuperating from a physical injury could also qualify for lost wages, while those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety could be eligible for damages compensating them for emotional distress. For help determining whether you or a loved one could qualify for compensatory damages after being injured on a rental property, reach out to our legal team today.
Contact Our Experienced Yuma Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Property owners are required to take certain steps to keep their visitors safe. This applies not only to business owners, but also to landlords, who should take preventive measures to protect tenants from becoming the victims of a crime. Landlords who fail to fulfill these responsibilities can and should be held liable for their negligence. To learn more, please call (520) 389-5225 and speak with the dedicated Yuma personal injury lawyers at Karnas Law Firm, PLLC today.
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