Can I sue my apartment complex for leaving my door unlocked?

The maintenance man in my apartment entered while my roommate was home. She left while he was still there and the mant. man left our front door unlocked when he was finished for who knows how long. Nothing of mine is missing and it is not in my lease that they have to relock our doors but I was told I should sue. It’s very disturbing to be worried I can never leave anything in my home without risking losing it. Do I have a case?

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What would you sue for? The legal system does not provide compensation for "might haves" or "could haves" or close calls--it only provides compensation for actual losses or damages. If anything had been stolen or damaged, you would very likely have a cause of action; but without some loss, even though the maintenance man and landlord (as his employer) are at fault (for acting negligently, or carelessly, vis-a-vis your property and premises), there is no recovery or compensation you could seek.

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