Georgia Inadequate Apartment Security: Recovery for Violent Crimes Committed By Third Parties


September 10, 2010

Many residents in apartment complexes become victims of violent crimes because of inadequate security measures taken by the owner of the apartment complex. It is tragic when an apartment resident is the victim of a violent crime such as rape, assault or murder. Inadequate security cases generally fall under the legal area of premises liability law.

A tenant under Georgia premises liability law would be classified as an invitee, because the tenant has a mutual contractual relationship with the owner of the property. Because a property owner/landlord is in a position to have superior knowledge of dangerous conditions related to the property, including past crime, the owner has an obligation to keep tenants free from hazards through the exercise of ordinary care. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been helping victims of violent crime recover against property owners with inadequate security for over 25 years.

The initial issue in determining whether the owner of an apartment is liable for a violent crime against a tenant is whether there is a significant history of crime on the property that would put the owner on notice that security measures are necessary and appropriate. The test is whether the past crime on the property would have lead a reasonable property owner to take security precautions, but the past criminal activity does not need to be particularly similar in terms of the type of crime. For example, in one case the Georgia Supreme Court determined that two prior burglaries of unoccupied apartments was sufficient to create a need for security measures, even though a subsequent rape was a crime that is totally different in kind and risk. This means that the inquiry is not what type of crime but simply whether there has been enough crime to lead a reasonable apartment owner to implement security measures.

Once it has been established that there has been enough past crime on the property to lead a reasonable person to take precautions, the question is what degree of precautions are sufficient. This is a factual based inquiry that is likely to depend on the circumstances of each case. A qualified attorney famliar with Georgia inadequate security law will carefully analyze the specific facts of a case to determine whether any existing security measures were adequate or not. These cases tend to be complicated and it is crucial that all facts be legally analyzed by a lawyer. If an apartment owner has routine armed security patrols, locks on the doors, and adequate lighting, in normal situations without any unusual history of criminal activity, the apartment owner has probably taken adequate measures. Once again, there are a lot of facts to be explored and every situation is different.

Georgia inadequate security cases are particularly heartbreaking because an inexpensive security patrol is often not sufficient to prevent the commission of violent crimes. Sometimes an apartment owner's desire to save less than $20 per hour can lead to a resident being victimized by a violent crime. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our Georgia premises liability attorneys will carefully investigate the facts of your case and analyze the crime in the area and security precautions in place. Depending on the facts and seriousness of the case, an expert may also be able to comment on other security measures that might have prevented a violent crime. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller and rural towns in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.