If you rent a residential or commercial property, you know your landlord is who you pay rent to each month and whom you call for system repairs and other issues. However, in Florida, there is more to the landlord-tenant relationship.
Landlords also have other responsibilities besides providing you with a location to live or operate your business. One of the most important involves security.
If issues related to security occur, you may have a case for compensation. It is smart to contact our legal team at Jonathan Perkins to learn more about your rights. With the help of an experienced premises liability lawyer, you can feel confident that you will have the best possible outcome for your case.
Landlords Have a Responsibility to Provide Protection from Reasonably Foreseeable Criminal Conduct
According to Florida law, property owners have a duty to provide protection for all tenants from “reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct.” This means that a landlord is responsible to tenants to protect them from crime and prevent crime from occurring. This falls under the premises liability law umbrella.
You may wonder what this means in the realm of personal injury law.
If you are the victim of a crime on your rented property, you may be able to file a claim against your landlord for any damages you sustain. The grounds for this claim are that your landlord did not provide adequate security on your rented property.
However, if you want to recover compensation, you must prove that your landlord caused the incident (or was at fault). This means you have the burden of proof. Because this can be challenging to establish, it is smart to hire a personal injury lawyer for assistance.
Understanding Tenant Safety and a Landlord’s Duty of Care
In Florida, countless cases have been going to court, and it found that property owners owe a duty of care to tenants. This applies to common areas on the property and individual units leased to a residential tenant.
Landlords can be found negligent for breaching this duty, not ensuring a tenant’s safety, or failing to provide proper security in the building.
If there is a possibility of crime in an area, a landlord must take steps to ensure tenants are protected and safe. Failure to do this can lead to them owing compensation to their tenant if they are injured or experience losses due to some criminal event.
For commercial properties, when an owner leases a commercial space, the owner has a duty to protect their tenant and the employees, customers, and guests of their tenant. An example would be if the landlord knows about past criminal activity on the property or in the area, then the landlord may be responsible for customers being attacked in a parking lot.
If you want to ensure the success of your claim, you need to prove that the landlord had a reason to foresee some criminal attack. Could the landlord have predicted the criminal attack or act? This is a question that the jury must answer since they have to evaluate the facts in the case.
In Florida courts, if an attack is foreseeable, then the landlord can be held responsible for the injuries a tenant sustains in situations where the landlord knows about criminal activity in the area, even if there have not been any similar incidents on the landlord’s property.
Holding Your Landlord Accountable
If you have noticed an issue and reported it to your landlord, you need to follow up with them to ensure it is fixed. It is easy to overlook or forget about small things; however, if it comes down to you, you will wind up being disappointed that you were not proactive or happy that you were.
Additionally, landlords have a responsibility to maintain security measures currently in place. An example would be a front gate. If it is usually shut, but the landlord fails to do this, and a crime or attack occurs, then the landlord can be found liable for not maintaining the necessary security feature that led to or contributed to the crime.
Holding Your Landlord Responsible with the Help of a Premises Liability Attorney
If you are injured on a rental property due to negligent security, it may be possible to hold your landlord responsible. To know your legal rights, contact our office. We can review your case and provide you with the necessary legal services.
We aim to help you get the full compensation you deserve for your losses. Reach out to us today to learn more or ask any questions about your situation.