What to do regarding faulty security in my apartment?

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What to do regarding faulty security in my apartment?

When I moved into my apartment, I noted that the doorframe was rotted and wouldn’t latch correctly. This was written on the initial “problems” document. By the time I fully moved in, the door worked okay and looked fine (key here becomes “looked”). My apartment was broken into via kicking open the front door. It is now clearly evident (with photos taken) that the rotted frame was never repaired, just painted over and adjusted. Even now, their newest repair was a slap job, where they covered the rot. The total stolen comes to around $1200, which my income makes difficult to replace.

Asked on July 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue the landlord to recover the amount stolen and also force the landlord to fix the problem. While landlords are not their tenant's "insurers" and thus are not necessarily liable for theft from their tenants, they can become liable if they did not provide reasonable security. Failing to repair a rotten exterior door frame when they clearly had notice of the problem (it was on your "problems" document; they painted over it, which means at least one of their staff or contractors looked at it) would likely be considered an unreasonable failure to provide security, making the landlord liable. You might try suing in small claims court for you loss (you can act as your own attorney) while asking the landlord to repair the door.


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