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2007-08-06 14:01:00

Questions and Answers for Landlords: Crime, Drugs, and Gangs

Q   We have a security building with gated underground parking. I want to advertise the property as a secure community. It's an important selling point for many applicants. Is this a good idea?

No, because it may imply that you are responsible for the resident's health and safety from unknown third parties and create liability in cases where none existed.

What should I do if I suspect drugs are being sold out of one of our apartments?

Call the police and report the incident. Ask the police for any further direction. Document all of the calls and what you said, did and observed. Contact our firm to determine whether or not you have enough evidence to proceed with an eviction.

If I suspect a former tenant used drugs when he lived here, should I tell the next manager when they call me for a reference?

Only if your suspicions are founded on objective evidence and are not merely your hunch. If the former resident proves this statement is false, you could be liable for slander and misrepresentation.

We have had a few car break-ins over a week period and want to know if we are required by law to notify residents of the break-ins. We plan to do so, but wonder if there is a time deadline that we must abide by?

There are no specific laws requiring residential landlords to notify their tenants of third party crimes committed on the property. However, landlords do have a common law duty to warn occupants of known potential dangers on the premises. 

(LegalEase is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact the nearest office to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Kimball, Tirey & St. John makes no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to this information. Kimball, Tirey and St. John shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the use of any information herein contained.)

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