Are Property Managers Liable for the Safety and Security of Tenants?
Are you your brother’s keeper? It’s not just a Bible reference; it’s a legitimate question if you’re a property manager or landlord. Depending on your state or jurisdiction, you may be held liable for the safety and security of your tenants by the courts. Additionally, there may be clauses or verbiage in the contracts you give to your tenants that hold you liable for certain security violations.
Furthermore, you may also be surprised to learn that the precedent has been set for tenant safety situations and property manager liability. Read on to learn more about these precedents and how a locksmith can help you with risk prevention.
A Look at Past Property Management-Security Cases
Security issues are becoming more and more important for property managers. “In increasing numbers, landlords are being brought to court by tenants that have been injured by criminals while in their rental properties,” the FindLaw website states. “Settlements from these cases often reach into the millions of dollars, especially when a similar assault or crime occurred on the same rental property in the past.”
This liability can even extend beyond tenants and apply to anyone who is injured because of a security issue while on your property. Here are just a few recent cases from Florida where a property manager or owner was held liable because of a security issue (according to LexisNexis):
- 2011, Dania Beach, FL: A plaintiff, who was shot trying to leave an argument at a children’s entertainment and fun park, pressed charges on the owners of the park. The plaintiff claimed that the “defendant should have provided better security as it knew or should have known that its park and parking lot were in a high crime area and that many attacks had taken place.” The plaintiff was awarded $4.3 million.
- 2012, Miami FL: The defendant, an apartment resident, was attacked by a fleeing felon (who was pretending to be an air conditioning repairman) while in the apartment building. Plaintiffs claimed the defendant was “provided inadequate security.” Defendant was awarded $1.8 million.
- 2012, Hillsborough County, FL: A plaintiff was awaiting a hearing at the courthouse when a fight broke out in the courtroom. The plaintiff took the county to court “for her resulting injuries based on their failure to provide adequate security.” The county moved for summary judgment.
The good news is that it’s possible to prevent many security situations if you have the right system in place. That’s what it’s important to find a good locksmith.
How a Locksmith Helps with Risk Prevention
Situations for the precedents mentioned above could have been prevented with adequate security measures. The Dania Beach situation may have benefited from a better security system with high-tech cameras. The Miami incident could have been avoided with a smart doorbell. The Hillsborough County event may have just required more security personnel, but it goes to show the intricacies of liability for property managers.
Fortunately, a locksmith can provide security services for your business property to help limit your risk when it comes to tenant security. Here are just a few business security services a locksmith can provide:
- Master Key Systems
- Security Cameras
- High-Security Locks
- Wiring and Installation
- Maintenance and Repair
- Code Compliance Consultations
- Access Control Systems
If you’re interested in improving the security of your rental property and limiting your liability when it comes to the safety and security of your tenants, give A-1 Locksmith a call at (972) 284-7500 for a free security consultation.Back to Blog