If my apartment was burglarized and the landlord refused to move me to another apartment, what are my rights?

UPDATED: Dec 7, 2011

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If my apartment was burglarized and the landlord refused to move me to another apartment, what are my rights?

The landlord refused to transfer me to another apartment when the thief had stolen my keys, money, a gun and laptop. I have a police victim notice report and moved out of my apartment. The landlord then proceeded to file an eviction notice and sent me to court. The judge told me he could not give legal advice. Do I have to pay? What are the landlords responsibilities when my infant and my safety was at risk?

Asked on December 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is NOT responsible for the burglary, *unless* you can show that it was due to inadequate security the landlord provided--something like a front door to the building which did not lock; or the lock on your door was broken, the landlord knew about it, and refused or failed to fix it. If the landlord was at fault, then you could potentially sue the landlord for compensation (e.g. the value of what was stolen) and/or for a court order forcing him/her to fix the problem. But even then, if you stoped paying rent on an apartment, you would almost certainly be in violation of the lease and subject to eviction. Also, it is very unlikely that, even if the landlord were at fault, that he/she would have to move you to another apartment; instead, the landlord's obligation would be to fix the specific problems (e.g. a broken lock) which lead to his/her liability.

If the landlord were not a fault, then the landlord would not be responsible in any way for the criminal actions of a third-party, and you would have no claims or recourse against the landord. The landlord does not have to pay for, either directly or indirectly, the wrongful criminal acts of others.

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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