Criminal acts can result in devasting injuries that limit your ability to work or take care of your loved ones and yourself. Those who commit crimes are often willing to put other innocent people’s lives at risk and can even result in fatalities.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to crime, you may be wondering if the property owner, management company or landlord can be held liable for your damages. If the crime was caused by negligence, then you have the right to seek compensation from the negligent party for your losses.
Property owners, management companies and landlords have a duty to take precautions to secure their property and protect invitees and tenants from criminal activity. This means they are responsible for making a reasonable effort to keep an individual from becoming a victim of a crime while on their premises.
Our Kansas City premises liability attorney at The Law Office of Kevin J McManus will help you hold a negligent property owner, management company or landlord responsible for your personal injury due to criminal activity. Call our office today at 816-203-0143 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and get the help you deserve.
- Property owners, management companies, and landlords can be liable for personal injuries due to crimes on their property
- 7 ways to prove liability for personal injury due to a crime on another’s property
What if a Personal Injury Occurs from a Criminal Act on a Kansas City Property?
Under the Missouri law, property owners, management companies and landlords may be held accountable for harm caused by a third-party criminal act. The courts have outlined the conditions under which liability can be established for injuries due to criminal activities.
First, the act must be reasonably foreseeable. This generally means that the criminal conduct isn’t the first one committed. For instance, if a landlord fails to place locks on any doors on their property, even the first illegal act of an intruder may result in liability since the risk is so predictable.
Second, the property owners, management company or landlord must have been able to prevent the activities by using reasonable means within their control. Again, the absence of locks is a good example - by providing locks, the landlord can easily limit or at least partly impede the illegal actions that result in possible injuries. The landlord is not liable if a renter fails to use the lock provided since actually securing the premises door is beyond the landlord's control.
It should also be noted, there are instances where the tenant may also be held accountable for injuries caused by a third-party's criminal actions. For instance, if a property was experiencing various burglaries and the tenant intentionally disabled the locks of the door, the tenant would be liable for any injury to a guest due to the burglary. However, if the landlord is exclusively responsible for the failure to offer protection—and the doors didn't have locks to begin with—the renter will not be held liable for criminal activities.
When Injuries Resulted from a Crime Caused by Another Tenant
Tenants are at times in close quarters when renting. Consequently, one tenant's conduct may lead to the injury of other renters. An example of this would be if a fire was started by one tenant and spread to other areas. Tenants must use their property in a manner that does not endanger other tenants. If then, the risk was reported to the landlord without any action to remedy it, then the liability falls on both the assaulting tenant and the landlord.
This is especially the case when the landlord's property hosts any type of criminal activity. As an example, if someone is injured by drug dealers that the landlord knowingly allows on his or her property, whether they are either tenants or other people in the neighborhood, the landlord may be held liable for injuries that result because of the criminal nature of those activities.
How to Prove Landlord Liability for Personal Injury due to Crime in Missouri or Kansas?
You can prove liability for injuries arising from a crime if the property owner, management company or landlord fails to:
- Meet or surpass all state and local security laws that pertain to the rental property, such as requirements for security measures such as deadbolt locks on doors, window locks, fencing, and adequate lighting.
- Maintain the property and conduct frequent inspections to identify and address any security issues, such as broken locks, burnt-out flood lights, or breaches in security.
- Handle or prohibit tenants' disruptive behavior. This can mean including a clear section in the lease or rental agreement forbidding criminal activities, and immediately dismissing renters who break the provisions.
- Realistically assess the criminal situation in and around the rental property and neighborhood, and design a security system that offers reasonable protection.
- Educate tenants about the neighborhood's criminal challenges, as well as the security measures available, their use, and limitations if any.
- Handle tenant concerns concerning dangerous situations, suspicious activities, or malfunctioning security equipment. Landlords who fail to respond to complaints face a higher level of legal liability if a tenant is hurt due to a criminal act.
- Thoroughly conduct a background check on property management to the extent permitted by law and regularly monitor their performance. A tenant injured by any member of management may file a lawsuit against the property owner for failing to screen or supervise the manager properly.
Contact Our Premises Liability Attorney in Kansas City, Missouri
If you or a loved one have been injured on a rental property and believe your landlord is at fault, we’re here to help. Reach out to our office and let our personal injury attorney stand up for your rights.
At the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus, our experienced premises liability attorneys will be able to determine the best course of action for getting you compensated for your injuries. We handle landlord liability claims for personal injury due to crime on a property across Missouri and Kansas. Call us today at 816-203-0143 or contact us by chat or email online for a free consultation. You can also download our free book online now. We’re here to help!