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

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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