If the house next door rents to child molesters, felons and drunks, can I sue?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If the house next door rents to child molesters, felons and drunks, can I sue?

I’m a 52 year old woman who is disabled and last night a severely intoxicated girl walked into my house and assaulted me. I’m grateful that my friend came home to pick up his dog that I was watching. He had to pull her off of me. I’m pretty banged up and missing a lot of hair and I hurt pretty bad. I called the police and they came and took pictures. They said that they were going to charge her with burglary. The week before that she came over to ask a question and sexually assaulted me and then proceeded to pass out on my floor. I did not call the police at that time. However, they know about it now. They couldn’t find her last night but they know she’s a problem. If that landlord has rules and ignores his rules, can I sue him? Who’s going to pay for my hair replacement? I might need plastic surgery. I’m afraid to let my dogs out now the whole apartment building over there is creepy and they are all looking at me.

Asked on October 2, 2016 under Personal Injury, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue the landlord. A landlord is not responsible for the criminal actions of his tenants--or, indeed, for any harm they do either negligently or carelessly as well. One person is not resonsible for the harms or crimes done by another unless the first person him/herself contributed to or participated in them, and simply renting out space to another is not enough of a contribution or link to make the landlord liable. You can sue the actual attacker for your injuries or costs, as well as pressing criminal charges.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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