Most people choose to live in gated communities for added privacy and protection. Many gated communities have security guards on staff and gated entrances that make intrusion difficult, but not impossible. So, if those promises of protection are broken and an intruder enters your property, do you know your legal rights?
Crime in a gated community can occur just as it would in any neighborhood. Houses may sometimes be broken into, property stolen, or people assaulted. However, if the gated community you live in failed to provide or maintain the security they promise, they may be held liable. A gated community is responsible for upholding the security they promised their residents. This means they must continue to care for and repair any security measures, including lighting, gates, locks, and security cameras.
Should the gated community fail to make necessary repairs to their premises, they may be held responsible for any injuries or damages that occur as a result. For example, if the gate breaks an intruder may enter the property and harm a community resident. If the gated community fails to adequately repair the gate in a timely manner, they could be considered negligent.
Furthermore, if the gated community has a secured gate, a roaming guard, and a gate guard, it is reasonable for the residents to expect all of those securities to be maintained. Anyone staffed by the community should be qualified for their position and must provide adequate security. If the gated community is negligent in its hiring practices and staffs insufficiently qualified individuals, they may be liable for any damages that occur as a result.
The security of the gated community is also, mostly, controlled by the gate access. Some communities have security guards to permit individuals access, while others have key pads or permits to allow access. If the community fails to properly control access, perhaps by permitting someone through without properly identifying them first, the community may be liable for any injuries that person causes.
Local Criminal Activity
Your gated community may also be held liable for any damage or injury you suffered at the hands of an intruder if they failed to warn you about known criminal activity in the area. If your neighborhood, or surrounding neighborhoods, recently experienced some sort of crime, such as robbery, attempted break-in, or assault, your community has a responsibility to warn you of the potential danger.
If you suffered harm or property damage from an intruder as a result of a negligent gated community, you may have a premises liability case. To discuss your situation with our lawyers, contact Sico Hoelscher Harris & Braugh LLP.