If I share a garage with the tenants of the upper level of a house but through their negligence my bike was stolen, what are my rights?

Recently, they failed to lock the garage door and my bicycle was stolen out of it. I have talked to them about it, but they have once again left the door unlocked. Is it against the law for them to fail to lock this door? Do I have any legal recourse to make them pay more attention?

Asked on April 5, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Now that something was stolen out of the garage and the risk of theft is known, if anything else is stolen, you would seem to have good grounds to sue them for the value of that item based on negligence--the unreasonable carelessness of living the door unlocked when you a history of theft. However, if they are willing to take that chance, you can't affirmatively force them to lock the door--you can just sue them if anything bad happens.

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