Could landlords be partially liable for the deadly shooting of a 9-year-old?
An unknown assailant fatally shot a 9-year-old boy at The Station at Richmond Hill apartment community in southeast Atlanta. While the person who fired the bullet bears responsibility for the death, the landlords at The Station at Richmond Hill could also possibly share liability for the tragedy.
Georgia law requires property owners and managers to implement reasonable security measures to protect tenants and guests from known risks. The threat of violent crime at The Station at Richmond Hill has been documented in the Google Reviews of the property. One reviewer complained of vehicle break-ins and another claims his mother’s window was shot out and management failed to repair it. Another reviewer writes, “This is supposed to be a gated community and the gate has been open for over six months.”
Poor attention to maintenance and a failure to keep existing security measures in functioning order can send a message to criminals that management is not taking security seriously. When landlords fail to provide adequate security and tragedy strikes, the survivors and victims of violent crime may be able to hold the property owners and managers accountable in the civil justice system.
Law enforcement can do only so much to prevent violent crime, but property owners have the power to deter criminal activity by improving lighting conditions, installing visible security cameras, maintaining perimeter fencing and working gates, and when the level of crime justifies it, by hiring on-site security personnel. Only the survivors of violent crime and the families of victims can file suit against landlords who fail to take reasonable steps to protect residents from foreseeable crime risks. By holding landlords accountable in a court of law, they can potentially receive financial compensation for their loss and put pressure on the property owners and managers to make meaningful changes to prevent future tragedies from befalling someone else. In this way, we can help Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.
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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