Law enforcement officers can respond to violent crime, but they cannot prevent all violent crimes from happening in the first place. If property managers take reasonable steps to protect people from known threats, they can make businesses and communities less attractive to violent criminals.
When apartment landlords are aware of criminal activity on their property, Georgia law says they have an obligation to take reasonable steps to address the problem. When property owners and managers fail to take responsibility for addressing crime on their property, it is up to the survivors and families of victims of violent crime to stand up and hold landlords accountable.
There are a number of measures that are known to make a property less attractive to criminals. Criminals prefer to act in places where they cannot be easily seen and where they can quickly escape. Good lighting and visible security cameras let would-be criminals know it will be hard to conceal their actions. An unbroken perimeter fence and a functioning gate together mean that a potential criminal will face obstacles that will slow his escape. In some cases, crime on a property can be so frequent that it justifies the hiring of active security guards to keep an active eye on the community.
Are property owners responsible for all crime that happens on their property? No. But if there is a history of crime on a property, making the likelihood of future crime foreseeable, and management fails to take actions known to reduce crime, then they should share in the liability. It is a part of the law called Negligent Security.
Property owners and managers have an important role to play in managing the crime problem in Atlanta. Make Atlanta Safe is dedicated to raising public awareness about the responsibility landlords have in taking steps to keep their communities safe. The way Georgia law works, only people who have survived a violent crime or the families of victims lost to violent crime can use the civil court system to hold landlords responsible for failing to provide adequate security.
Only the survivors of violent crimes or the families of victims can use the civil court system to hold property owners and managers accountable when they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect tenants and guests from known threats. By holding them accountable, we can motivate property owners to make meaningful changes to prevent violent crime from happening to others. In that way, together, we can help Make Atlanta Safe.
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