By law must a landlord have locks on the main doors of apartment buildings?

About 2 days ago a young lady that lives next to me was robbed and assuauled by a couple of young men posing as teenagers selling candy. They entered the building through the main door, which have no locks on them. The building manager told me that they would not be putting locks on the main doors because of the cost. I am terrified and I don’t know what to do.

Asked on July 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, the law does not specifically mandate locks.  However, landlords are still required, under what is known as the "implied warranty of habitability," to provide rental premises that are safe. If the landlord does not after written notice, you may be entitled to terminate your lease without penalty--though before doing so, you are advised to consult with a landlord-tenant attorney about your situation in detail. You--and that young lady--could also potentially sue the landlord for injuries, medical costs, items or money stolen, etc., all of which happened because the landlord violated its obligation to provide safely inhabitable property and take reasonable precautions.

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