Is a landlord responsible for damage from a break-in?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Is a landlord responsible for damage from a break-in?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord would only be responsible for damage due to a break-in if--

1) It was an employee or agent of the landlord who broke in.

2) It was another tenant, whom the landlord had notice breaks into other apartments (e.g. has done it before), and despite that notice, the landlord did not take any appropriate action (e.g. evict).

3) The landlord did not provide whatever security is normal and reasonable for buildings of that type in that area--for example, the front door to a multi-family unit did not lock; your individual unit had a broken lock, which the landlord did not fix; etc.

In short, the landlord must have done something wrong to be liable. It is not liable just because the break-in occured on its premises.

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 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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