Landowners of business property have a duty to undertake reasonable steps to protect consumers and visitors against acts of criminals. This duty only exists when dangerous acts or crimes are foreseeable in light of the surrounding circumstances.
What Acts are Foreseeable?
The foreseeability of criminal activity can be determined by examining two factors:
- What is the known crime rate? Landowners or business owners should determine the types of known crimes in their neighborhoods and take adequate safety precautions to prevent crime.
- What are the common practices? Courts usually determine liability by looking at the ¿totality of circumstances¿ to determine whether the actions that landowners and business operators undertook were reasonable steps to prevent crime.
Are Landowners Responsible if There is No Prior History of Criminal Activity?
Generally, a landowner does not have to provide high levels of security unless prior acts of criminal activity have occurred.
What are Some Examples of Crimes?
There are many crimes that could occur on landowner¿s premises. However, certain crimes that are prevalent are listed below:
Do I Need a Lawyer if a Crime Occurred on My Property?
A landowner can face serious liability if she does not take necessary precautions to stop crime. If you are a landowner, an experienced real property attorney can help you take the necessary steps to avoid liability. If you are a victim of crime at a business, a real property lawyer can help you determine if the landowner is liable for your injuries.