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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102192
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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We were robbed first on Monday last week, when the criminals

Customer Question

Hi there. We were robbed first on Monday last week, when the criminals made off with 2 expensive bikes from the alcove of our house (located behind a gate and before the front door). They were able to make it through the gate as it was decades old, corroded and able to easily be kicked through. We were then robbed, in broad daylight, on a busy street, on Saturday, when again they made it through the gate easily, punched through a window by the front door and un did our front door lock. Passports, green cards, birth certs, computers, cameras, green cards, car keys, house keys, credit cards, cash and $40,000 in jewelry were taken. All was submitted, in both instances, in detailed poilice reports.
We are in SF, California. OUr landlord did not come after the first robbery to replace the gate lock, which was still functional but entirely vulbnerable still, as evidenced by the second, easy break in, on a busy street. He is saying he will only pay 1/3 of the cost to replace locks and outright refuses to pay for a security system. We were told today that he may actually be liable for a portion of the losses due to not upkeeping the security (locks etc).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) please wait to rate until I ask you to do so. It may take a few replies for me to be able to render an complete answer. I will let you know when I do.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. This becomes very subjective. There is no mandate per CA laws that a landlord provide a security system, or a locked gate, etc.

However, a landlord may be held liable if the Judge or Jury believes that a reasonable person in his situation KNEW or SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that their tenants would be robbed unless proper security steps were taken... and did not take them.

Under the same doctrine some stores have been found liable for robberies that take place in their parking lots if they do not have lights in those parking lots.

This is very subjective and is on a case by case basis. So it is not automatic. The tenants would have to bring a suit against the landlord, and then the Court decides (Judge or Jury - either party can request a jury).

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.