Residents of apartment complexes have a right to expect that their landlords will provide adequate safety to tenants and their guests. The duty of providing safety at an apartment complex extends to those risks that are foreseeable to the landlord. What is foreseeable? It all depends upon the circumstances surrounding a particular apartment complex. If the complex has knowledge that there are frequent security problems and management and ownership fails to provide sufficient security to the tenants, the complex may be liable for damages caused by inadequate security.
Proving negligence as a result of inadequate security can be as simple as showing the frequency of police responses to a particular apartment complex. Here in Cleveland, our office was able to hold building management and ownership responsible for the death of an elderly tenant as a result of a fire set in the laundry room. The evidence showed that the tenants frequently complained about strangers breaking into the laundry rooms and the police were frequently called to the complex, yet adequate security was not provided by the apartment complex to safeguard the tenants.