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Denver Apartment Complex Violence Lawyer

A home is supposed to be the one place people can return to and feel safe. But sometimes, it goes from being a haven to a place of mental and physical distress. Violence is not uncommon in apartment complexes in Denver and other parts of Colorado. 

When tenants go through acts of violence in their apartment, they often do not know who to call. At other times, a negligent landlord may deny responsibility and leave them to face the consequences alone. This is why it is vital to seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney after an act of violence. At Firouzbakht Law Firm, we have lawyers versed in private property violence ready to help you. 

What Tenants in Denver Need To Know

Whether you're renting an apartment for short-term purposes or taking a long-term lease, you need to know what your rights are under Colorado laws. Generally, landlords have a duty to keep the premises in habitable condition. It means that the property should have the basic amenities needed for day-to-day life. 

Apartment Complex Violence Lawyer

A housing unit or rental property will be inhabitable if it has holes in the floor, unsafe or exposed wiring, or a gross infestation of pests. An unworking cable connection or lack of WiFi does not make an apartment uninhabitable. Once a house is habitable, you as a tenant have to maintain it and keep it in proper shape.

Aside from the above, a property owner must make the building safe for those who reside within. This includes providing security against trespassers and ensuring privacy. However, there are times when a landlord's negligent behavior leads to a crime and injury to the tenant. 

When this happens, the landlord would be held liable to the tenant in monetary damages. Depending on the crime's nature and injury suffered, the property owner might face felony or misdemeanor criminal charges. Whatever the situation, it would be best to contact criminal defense attorneys for representation. 

What Contributes to Violence in Apartment Complexes?

Violence in apartment complexes in Denver County takes different shapes. It could be assault, rape, trespass, domestic violence, burglary, theft, or a crime of stalking. More severe crimes like murder are known to have occurred on residential premises. The promise of security from most building owners turns out to be a mere word of mouth, and tenants end up finding themselves in precarious situations. 

So, what contributes to the violence in an apartment building? Below are some of them. 

  • Bad or No Security: Leasing agents often entice people by promising or implying adequate security to protect tenants and their properties. This is often false, and those who have only safeguard the residential property and not the occupants. 
  • No-Working Security Gates: Most property owners are like insurance companies when it comes to releasing funds. They would rather keep their money than use it to improve their property. This is why most housing units with violent crimes are often without working gates. A non-functioning security gate is an open invitation for criminals to stroll right in. But when a building owner cares about tenants' lives and personal property, they spend money maintaining the security gates. 
  • Failure To Carry Out Background Checks: Most criminals are repeat offenders, meaning there's a trail of paperwork to follow to know their offense. Failing to carry out background checks before signing a lease agreement gives room for criminals to live among law-abiding citizens. It means that a person convicted of assault can carry out future assaults in their apartment building if landlords fail to carry out their due diligence. 
  • Failing To Warn Tenants About Other Attacks and Crimes: A landlord has a duty to inform prospective tenants of their building's criminal history if it has one. All hazardous conditions must be in the lease term to enable a person to decide if they want to go ahead with the agreement. In practice, property owners neglect this duty, and unsuspecting individuals move in and become crime victims. 
  • Unsecured Apartments: When a rental unit stays vacant for a long period, criminals tend to use it as a hideout. To prevent this, a landlord must securely lock up all vacant spaces to prevent them from becoming a ground for any form of violence.

There is no legal justification for property owners who fail to secure their apartment buildings. Thus, if a crime happens due to a lack of security, the landlord would be liable to some extent. Find out more on the liabilities of a property owner from a Denver apartment complex violence lawyer.  

Can a Tenant Break a Lease Because of Violence? 

Generally, there's a blanket rule that a tenant who breaks a lease before the expiration of the lease term would pay any outstanding rents. However, Colorado law allows tenants to pull out of a lease agreement in one of the following situations: 

  • Domestic Violence: Domestic violence victims can terminate their lease agreements and move out of a building if they no longer feel safe. Since most victims are women, the law protects them by giving them a chance to begin afresh somewhere else. However, the tenant must send a written notice to the landlord and the appropriate documentation. The latter is either a police report or an order of protection. Contact our domestic abuse lawyers to find out what the law terms domestic abuse in this respect. 
  • Harassment or Invasion of Privacy: Every human being is entitled to privacy and lives in a calm and peaceful environment. Thus, if your landlord repeatedly enters your property without prior notice and keeps changing things like locks, you can terminate the lease. 

Aside from these two, a tenant can terminate a lease if the property owner fails to repair a hazardous condition. Colorado law also exempts tenants if the apartment complex violates any of its health or safety codes. In all, it is best to contact an attorney to know when you can break a lease because of violence. 

Can Tenants Sue Landlords for Loss or Injury From Violent Acts

As mentioned earlier, tenants who are victims of assault, theft, burglary, harassment, and other forms of abuse are entitled to compensation from the landlord. But this is only possible if the building owner's negligence created an opportunity for the criminal act. It means that the landlord must have known that their lack of care led to the violent act. 

Apartment Complex Violence Lawyer

Additionally, Colorado law provides that the act must have been foreseeable by the landlord. If all these elements are present, the tenant can claim damages for breach of warranty of habitability. An apartment violence lawyer's services would be required in filing claims of this nature. 

If the act led to physical injuries, the negligent landlord would have to cover the medical bills of the tenant. If the violent act involves the loss of personal property, the law is different. Firstly, a tenant has the responsibility to insure their possessions against theft and burglary. 

When either of the two occurs, their insurance coverage will pay for the losses. Secondly, a landlord would pay for any property damage unless they can prove that the tenant caused the destruction. It means that while a tenant's insurance coverage would pay for the replacement of their stolen TV, the building owner would pay for damaged windows or broken doors. 

Can Tenants Sue Landlords for Emotional Distress and Discrimination? 

Violent acts often lead to emotional distress for the victims, and the law recognizes this. Thus, if a landlord's action or inaction led to a crime that caused severe emotional distress or upset, the tenant can sue. However, not every apartment complex violent act has an element of emotional distress. 

A landlord would only be liable for emotional distress in one of the following instances: 

  • The emotional harm resulted in physical harm like heart trouble. 
  • The landlord's negligence did not lead to physical injury but caused severe psychological trauma.

Furthermore, tenants can sue landlords for discrimination. A discriminated tenant can file a civil action against the property owner with the help of an attorney. 

Do Victims of Apartment Complex Violence Need a Lawyer?

The direct answer to this question is YES. Like most personal injury actions, apartment violence cases are technical to prove, and more so because it has a criminal element to it. Tenants who wish to see justice done would need to hire a criminal defense attorney and a personal injury lawyer. 

The criminal defense attorney would represent your interest as the complainant in court. The personal injury attorney would represent you in the civil action for monetary damages. Both will offer legal advice and ensure that those who harmed you get the punishment they deserve. 

Also, criminal and civil trials involve lots of legal documents and jargon that an ordinary person would find hard to understand. A lawyer would break it down and carry you along every stage of the trial and claims process. Lastly, while you're still traumatized by the violent act, the lawyer will speak for you and gather all the evidence needed to prove your case.

Firouzbakht Law Firm Is Here for You!

At Firouzbakht Law Firm, we understand tenants' rights and how vital it is to live in a safe environment. We also know that bad things happen when we least expect them to, but you don't have to suffer forever for another person's mistake. This is why we are here.

Apartment Complex Violence Lawyer

By hiring our Denver apartment complex violence lawyers, you are taking the right step in getting the justice you deserve.. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to represent you while you focus on healing your mind and body. Don't wait any longer to get justice. Start the process by calling us today!

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