It is possible for a landlord to be held financially responsible for the criminal acts of a complete stranger. This is especially true if there is a history of assault or other crimes on the landlord's property. In fact, lawsuits against landlords and rental property owners for the acts of criminals are becoming more and more common.
Most states have laws that impose some duty on landlords to protect their tenants from the criminal acts of outsiders. Thus, landlords also usually have a duty to protect the neighborhood from the criminal acts of their tenants. These duties are usually contained in building codes, statutes, and ordinances.
There are several steps a landlord can take in order to reduce the likelihood that you will be found liable for the criminal acts of non-tenants. Best practice is to take steps that will reduce the likelihood that a crime is ever committed on the property. In addition, other steps include:
Because your duties as a landlord are often found in court decisions and other hard to find places, a real estate lawyer can advise you of what steps you should take to ensure the safety of your tenants.
Last Modified: 09-19-2014 05:49 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.