If I rented space in a storage yard where security was advertised as provided but my equipment was still stolen, can I sue the landlord?

On the main gate a sign reads under video security, yet I was one of 2-3 spaces that were robbed. My business insurance had expired only 5 weeks earlier. Here’s the issue that leads me to think that I can sue the landlord for my loss ($7,000-$8,000).The security cameras that are on top of poles at the entrance were apparently “fake”. Do I have a case?

Asked on August 4, 2014 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You may have a case against your landlord. Normally, a landlord is not liable for the criminal acts of third parties not under his/her control, however, a landlord can be liable if he or she did  not provide reasonable security--and fake video cameras may not constitute reasonable security. You also might have a cause of action against the landlord for breach of contract (not providing you what you were paying for--e.g. video security) and/or for fraud (lying about what he/she would provide, to get you to do business with him).

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