The thought of moving into a new place can be exhilarating; however, you owe it to yourself to do some due diligence before you sign a lease. Crime and safety are two factors that you should prioritize before moving into a new apartment complex or rental home. There may be some unexpected dangers associated with the prospective living situation that you haven’t anticipated.

Your landlord’s obligation to protect you from crime

Every landlord has one primary responsibility, which is to keep their premises reasonably safe. Landlords should carefully vet any prospective tenants before allowing them to move into their rental. They should also be careful to equip all outside-facing doors with deadbolts to protect their tenants from intruders.

Some landlords may need to go as far as installing exterior lights and trimming large bushes to help deter criminal activity and enhance tenants’ visibility of potential physical hazards.

It’s also important that landlords take any illegal activity reports such as drug dealing seriously and quickly address them. Such acts generally violate a tenant’s lease and existing laws. These same statutes may require a landlord to evict any tenant suspected of engaging in illegal activities on their premises.

Your landlord’s responsibility to keep its buildings safe

The landlord is required to keep up with current building and safety codes. They must disclose any potential hazards to tenants before they sign their leases, including letting them know about lead paint’s presence on their walls. Local regulations may require them to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in each unit and make sure that there are adequate fire exits. Landlords must also make reasonable repairs to their units.

Safety and crime dangers that lurk at apartment complexes

One crucial step you can take before you sign a lease for your apartment is to check out the area’s crime statistics. You should also perform a move-in inspection of your unit to ensure its electrical components work and that there are carbon monoxide and smoke detectors present. You should also call your landlord’s attention to potential hazards, including problems with your windows and doors.

You may find it helpful to discuss the events leading up to your incident with a premises liability attorney here in Sarasota if your injuries resulted from your landlord’s neglect. They can go over how Florida law may allow you to recover compensation in situations like these.