Georgia Property Owners, Including Apartment Complexes, Have Duty to Protect Tenants From Crimes
In Georgia, property owners owe their tenants a duty of care to keep the tenants reasonably safe while on their premises. A lot of people probably do not know that if they are a victim of a crime that occurs on an apartment complex’s premises (or, say, even a trailer park, office building, shopping center, a parking garage, or a nightclub. Click to read more about other types of negligent security cases in Georgia), they may be able to hold the property owner liable for their injuries. So, let’s say the person is assaulted, mugged, raped, or even killed in an apartment complex. If the apartment complex failed to adequately secure the property, it can be liable. To show liability of the apartment owner under Georgia premises liability law, the injured party must show:
- The apartment owner knew about prior similar crimes in the complex;
- failed to implement adequate security; and,
- thus, causing the tenant/visitor to be assaulted, raped, or otherwise injured.
Proving that the apartment complex knew about the other crimes or of any dangerous conditions on the property can be difficult. Eyewitnesses, employee statements, and crime reports are necessary to prove knowledge and liability. Although some information can be obtained through presuit investigation, a lot of information might not be available until a lawsuit is filed and the parties engage in a process of exchanging information known as discovery.
If knowledge is proven, then the victim still must show that the apartment complex or other property owner did not take measures to secure the premises and if it did, then the crime could have been prevented. Some things that property owners can do to try to prevent crime are put up fencing, hire security personnel, install cameras, and install lighting on the premises.
Because holding property owners liable for crimes in Georgia is difficult, it is normally only economical to bring lawsuits where victims have been severely injured, raped, or killed.
If you have any questions about how to bring a claim against an apartment complex or other property owner for negligent and inadequate security in Georgia, please call Atlanta injury attorney Betty Nguyen Davis at (404) 647-0722.