Landlords in Colorado have a duty to keep their premises safe for their tenants. This duty may extend to protecting tenants and visitors from the risk of harm from third-party criminal activity. If you have suffered injury through a criminal assault that occurred on a rental property, your landlord may be liable for your injuries or losses on the basis of negligent security.
What Is Negligent Security?
Negligent security cases fall under premises liability. Premises liability cases are filed to hold property owners liable for injuries or damages sustained on the property due to a lack of reasonable security measures. Negligent security can apply to both residential and commercial properties.
If adequate security measures would have prevented the criminal act that caused your injuries and damages, your landlord may be held responsible. Property and business owners can be found negligent and liable for foreseeable criminal acts occurring on the property. For example, if the assault on you was foreseeable and your landlord could have prevented it by hiring adequate security personnel, your landlord may be liable for your losses.
Common Kinds of Negligent Security in Apartments
A landlord with reason to anticipate crime has a duty to exercise ordinary care to guard against injury. What ordinary care means may be interpreted differently from case to case. Your landlord may be negligent in providing security if he or she:
- Fails to maintain windows, doors, fences, gates, and locks in good repair
- Fails to provide adequate security personnel to deter crime
- Negligently hires or trains security guards or other security personnel
- Fails to install adequate security equipment, such as security cameras and lighting
You should always keep your eyes out for these common kinds of negligent security. That way, if you spot them, you can report them to your landlord as soon as possible. If your landlord does not fix the issue as soon as possible then you can also use the opportunity to keep records of your attempts to report the problem.
Filing a Successful Negligent Security Claim
In addition to establishing negligence under premises liability, in a negligent security case, you must also show that the criminal act was foreseeable. Different factors are considered by the courts to determine foreseeability. These factors may include:
Previous, substantially similar crimes on or near the premises: For example, if the landlord was aware of crime that has previously occurred on the property and failed to act to prevent it from happening again, he or she may be held liable for a subsequent similar crime.
Volatile situation brewing on the premises: If an assault is foreseeable based on clear indications, such as verbal threats, the landlord can be held liable for subsequent criminal actions if adequate security measures were not taken.
Located where crimes have occurred: If the landlord’s premises is located in a high-crime area, criminal acts are considered foreseeable, and the landlord may be negligent for failing to take additional security precautions.
Your Landlord Behaved Negligently: Finally, it must be obvious that your landlord broke their duty of care to you by not fixing a safety problem that they were aware of in a timely manner.
Who Should You Call If You Have Been Injured Through Negligent Security?
If you have been a victim of criminal assault caused by negligent security on the part of your landlord, call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC at (303) 665-2929, to consult with a Boulder premises liability lawyer. We have offices in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins and will work on a contingency fee basis with a free consultation. We can tell you if you have a negligent security case against your landlord and what damages you may be entitled to claim.