Inadequate Security in Georgia - Is My Apartment Complex Safe?

January 25, 2013

In 2012, Nelson Tyrone obtained a $5,250,000 million dollar verdict on behalf of a client who was shot on the property of his Atlanta apartment complex as he returned from the neighboring Chevron station. He was accosted by two attackers hiding behind the gate in the fence located at the back of the apartment property. The Court found that the apartment management knew about previous similar crimes in the area and took no extra precautions, nor did they warn the residents of the apartment complex that others had been attacked on the property prior to this incident.

Have you ever wondered how safe your apartment complex really is? In addition to apartments, inadequate security can also be an issue in parking lots, college campuses, or office buildings. The number of inadequate security claims has risen significantly over the years , and the crime is usually rape, assault, robbery, or homicide. The attackers are often never caught, and insurance companies will often try to shift the blame onto the attackers rather than the property or business owner.

If you live in an apartment, you lack the control of your external environment that a homeowner has. As a renter, you can't control who comes onto the property and who doesn't. You must rely on your landlord to ensure that the property is as safe and as crime-free as possible at all times.

Property or business owners (in cases where the business invites the public onto their property) have a duty under Georgia law to provide adequate security to the public. Apartment owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to provide a safe living environment for their tenants. If it can be shown that the property owner had previous knowledge of a history of crime on or near their property, and subsequently did not take reasonable steps to protect against such future incidents, and did not provide warning to residents of such occurrences, they may possibly be held liable in a court of law.

Some of the steps apartment complexes should take to ensure the safety of their tenants include:

  • Having adequate security in place, such as security guards at entrances, onsite courtesy officers, or a security patrol that roams the property or makes rounds in the evenings.
  • Providing adequate lighting in hallways, parking lots, and isolated areas of the property.
  • Installing fencing around the perimeter of the property to prevent trespassers from entering.
  • Having a documentation system in place to report and track any criminal activity on or near their premises.
  • Doing background checks on employees and future residents.
  • Keeping all locks and latches in good working order on the property, and changing locks every time a tenant moves out.
  • Training employees to be on the lookout for suspicious persons or activities
.

Here are some things you can look for when checking out a potential new apartment complex:

  • When viewing the property, ask what preventive security measures they have in place. It's better to ask this in person than over the phone, so that you can determine for yourself if they seem to be giving an adequate representation of the property.
  • Is it a gated complex requiring access cards, or with a security guard at the entrance?
  • Are there video surveillance cameras on the property?
  • Do the public areas such as parking lots, laundry room, gym, walkways and stairwells seem well lit? Are the common areas locked, requiring key card access?

If you have been a victim of Inadequate Security, and believe that you may have a case, please contact us to discuss your situation. Here at the Tyrone Law Firm, we represent clients all over the state of Georgia and throughout the United States who have been seriously injured and are experiencing life-changing catastrophic consequences through no fault of their own. We are proud to represent crime victims in Georgia.

Contact us at 404-377-0017 or via email at admin@tyronelaw.com. We will sit down and meet with you free of charge and if we cannot assist you, we will do our best to put you in the hands of attorneys who can.

We look forward to hearing from you and hope to be able to assist you with your case.