If our car was vandalized by another renter who was known to have previous violent behavior, should the complex be held responsible for the damage?

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If our car was vandalized by another renter who was known to have previous violent behavior, should the complex be held responsible for the damage?

Our car was completely trashed. Several windows knocked out, concrete bricks thrown

into the car, etc. The sheriffs who made us aware of the crime, and the complex’s

insurance company confirmed, advised the man responsible was known to the complex

management and they had been working on getting him evicted anyway. With the complex

management being aware of his previous violent behavior should they be held partially

responsible?

Asked on November 1, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they are not responsible if they were "working on getting him evicted"--that means, they were doing what they could to remove him and protect other tenants. A landlord would only potentially be responsible for the actions of a tenant if they knew the tenant posed a threat but refused or failed to act despite that knowledge; but if they were trying to evict him, they were doing the only thing they could, and so were acting reasonably and resonsibly. As such, the complex would not be liable. You could, of couse, sue the man who did the damage for your costs or losses.


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