Most apartment complexes have a resident manager who is on call in case a tenant has a problem that the landlord is responsible for like a leaky pipe or not enough heat. If a tenant reports that his pipes underneath his sink are leaking and the landlord does not repair those pipes, the landlord is guilty of negligence if the tenant's property is damaged from water or if the tenant is unable to use his rented apartment comfortably. Landlord negligence implies that the landlord willfully failed to carry out his rental agreement with his tenant. If the tenant is injured as a result of the negligence of the landlord or property management company, then the tenant can sue the landlord for negligence and premises liability. Landlords and property management companies have an obligation to keep common areas safe and to inspect for dangerous conditions.
A tenant rents an apartment under the assumption that all fixtures and space heating and cooling are working properly and that he is not placed under any kind of risk due to improper maintenance on the part of the landlord. Most rental agreements are pretty specific as to what the landlord is responsible to keep up and what the tenant is responsible to keep up.
A tenant should ask if the landlord has insurance coverage that would also include the tenant's personal property. If the tenant has never asked the landlord about whether or not he is also covered under the landlord's insurance and if the landlord does not have a signed form from his tenant stating that he informed his tenant that he should carry his own renter's insurance, a case for landlord negligence could conceivably be pursued if the damages are worth a lawyer's time or if the tenant wishes to pay for the lawyer's time.
Although a landlord could claim that a string of robberies in his apartment complex are out of his control and his tenants should have private renter's insurance, a case could be made that the landlord is not protecting his tenants with proper property preservation services that could stop easy access to his apartments by robbers. The case for landlord negligence could be made that the landlord failed to correct broken locks or to change locks when former tenants left or were evicted.
Landlord negligence could easily be proven in court if the landlord fails to keep his property properly maintained and that would include normal security measures that any homeowner would be required to maintain by his insurance company. Normal security measures would include maintaining proper outdoor security lights, making sure that all windows could lock, changing broken or corroded gates, informing police officials of unwanted or suspicious characters around his apartment complex. That would really make a convincing case in court if a tenant reported such characters to building management and no report or action was taken to protect a tenants right to a safe living area.
Of course, some tenants may know about renter's insurance but some tenant's might not know about renter's insurance. A landlord accepts some measure of responsibility for the safety of his tenant's when he allows them to live on his premises. If a landlord habitually allows dangerous materials to be strewn on his property or makes no effort to address and correct problems that have been brought to his attention, he should be sued for landlord negligence.
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