Should I sue or mediate with my apartment complex regarding a burglary?

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Should I sue or mediate with my apartment complex regarding a burglary?

My apartment was just burglarized, along with 2 neighboring apartments at the same time. This exact same incident happened over the summer and winter to a different apartment, and it recurred again a few times 3 years earlier. Shouldn’t the apartment complex have some legal responsibility to put some cameras up or something to prevent crime. They haven’t, so I should be able to sue them, correct? (I took a business law class in college and remember hearing a story about a grocery store that had to put up lights because there was a crime that happened).

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The question is whether, based on the crime rate in your area, the physical layout of the building, the type of tenants, etc. the landlord has already taken reasonable prescautions. The landlord's obligation is to take reasonable steps to ensure security--nothing more or less. Not every building has cameras or is expected to have cameras; it depends on the facts, location, set up, etc.  An easy way to think of it: if buildings like yours in the area (or similar neighborhoods in the same city) take security precautions which your building does not, your landlord may be negligent and there may be grounds for recovery or compensation. On the other hand, if the landlord is doing at least as much as similarly situated landlords, then he/she/it is probably not negligent or liable.


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