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Inadequate Building Security Can Lead to Liability Due to Crime

Kurt Schultz May 18, 2022

Many people picture slip-and-fall accidents when they think of premises liability, but wet floors are far from the only cause of premises liability for property owners in Michigan. Any time an owner’s negligence or inaction directly leads to someone else getting hurt, the victim could potentially bring a claim against the property owner.

Inadequate security and lighting can also lead to liability claims by people who become victims of crime. When does crime open the potential for a claim against a property owner?

Can You Show that The Owner Would Have Reason to Suspect Crime Nearby?

Establishing that the property owner or manager should have recognized the risk of crime will be part of a security-related premises liability claim. If the area already has a high rate of crime, then it’s reasonable to expect that the landlord would know that criminal risk is a potential at the property.

Additionally, if the property in question has dark areas, alleys, corners or stairwells that don’t have lighting, don’t have security and aren’t visible on nearby streets, those areas could wind up targeted by criminal elements. Property owners should maintain a property in a way that doesn’t attract crime.

Those who commit premeditated or habitual crimes often target areas without security and inadequate lighting. Property owners could do a lot to reduce the risk of crime on their property with a few small investments. If you can show that negligent security was a direct contributing factor to the crime you experienced, you may be able to seek compensation from the owner of the property where it occurred.