In any apartment complex setting, your concerns about crime and safety are well-placed. You’re living around a multitude of people who you likely don’t know after all. You likely have no idea if they’re involved in criminal activity or interact with others who do. Then if you live in an older building, there are other concerns about lead paint and the soundness of the infrastructure. These are only some of the many factors that you have to concern yourself with in a shared living environment.
Landlords have a responsibility to their tenants to ensure that there isn’t any criminal activity happening on their premises. Deadbolt and pin locks in the door handle are common safety features that many local municipalities require to help keep the tenants safe.
Property owners can help deter criminal activity by taking time to trim large bushes and install exterior lights. Landlords should also make it clear in a tenant’s contract how illegal activities such as drug dealing at the apartment complex is a violation of one’s lease and also against the law. Landlords are required to evict tenants engaging in illegal activities such as this.
The landlord is required to keep the building up to current safety and building codes. Part of their obligation is to disclose any potential hazards, such as lead paint, to tenants before they sign their lease. Landlords are also typically required to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in each unit and to have adequately identified fire exits. Reasonable repairs are also the responsibility of the landlord.
You, as the tenant, should familiarize yourself with local crime statistics before moving into your apartment. You should take time to view the rental property in person to confirm that it has such things as a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, a proper ventilation system and properly working electrical sockets. You should keep your windows and doors locked and any valuables out of plain view once you move in.
If you have become injured at a Toms River apartment complex due to criminal activity, lightning issues or the result of neglected repairs, you may be entitled to monetary damages. An attorney who has experience in handling these types of cases can advise you of your right to file suit here in New Jersey.