The Right to Be Safe From Crime

the right to be safe from crimeGenerally, the law requires a person to protect another person from crime if a “special relationship” exists between them.  In some states, a residential lease creates a special relationship between a property manager and a tenant.  A tenant has the right to know the property manager will keep them safe from criminals and criminal activity in and around the property. Here are a few things a tenant can expect from a property manager.

Know the Neighborhood
The property manager is expected to have a good understanding of the crime statistics in the neighborhood where your rental property is located.  If the location can reasonably be considered dangerous, this information should be disclosed, before you sign the lease. If even one crime has been committed in the neighborhood in the past, the manager is responsible for stepping up security measures, if needed.

Give Reasonable Protection
 Legally, property managers must meet the minimal safety requirements for rental properties, even if a crime has never before occurred in the neighborhood. These requirements include things like working locks and outdoor lighting.  The dwelling should be equipped with these things when you move in, and kept in good working order.

Responsible for Employees
The property manager is usually responsible for protecting you against their employees as well.  Service providers such as: Plumbers, landscape maintenance etc., should be screened for criminal records before they are hired and exposed to tenants.

Property Managers Have Rights Too
Residential tenants may not use the rental property to commit crimes. In most states, a tenant can be convicted for criminal activity, even if they are not actually convicted of the crime.

A Landlord/Tenant Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding tenants’ rights to a safe residence is complicated. Plus, each case is unique. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a landlord/tenant lawyer.

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