How Safe Is the Apartment You Want to Rent? Key Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing a Lease
A sense of security and safety for you and your family is key to making a house feel like a home.
Unfortunately, many landlords don’t provide, and in some cases aren’t legally required to share, crime and safety information to a potential tenant.
“Along with costs and amenities, tenants should be prepared to ask a variety of questions about safety measures before signing a lease and moving into a new apartment or home” says Michael Haggard. Haggard is the Managing Partner of The Haggard Law Firm (www.haggardlawfirm.com) which has made a mark successfully representing tenants who are injured or killed by someone committing a crime that could have been prevented if the landlord of the property where the crime occurs had taken proper security measures.
On August 16th, 2018 The Haggard Law Firm will present Winning Case Strategies in Premises Liability, a FREE CLE Credit Seminar. The event will take place from 1 to 5pm at the Doubletree Jacksonville Riverfront. To RSVP for the seminar, email or call Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org 305.446.5700
Common Conditions that Give Rise to a Premises Liability Case
by Douglas Mccarron
In my experience, the most common condition in any premises liability case is the lack of guardianship of the property. In most instances, the property owner and/or manager fails to put in place policies and procedures that ensure that the premises is kept in a reasonably safe condition. For example, in many negligent security cases it becomes obvious that the owner and management fail to do anything that assesses violent crime occurring at the property. Without knowing what type of crime is happening, it is nearly impossible to know what type of security measures are needed. How can the owner make decisions about access control, manned security, and surveillance cameras, if they have failed to gather the crime statistics for the property and the surrounding area? The answer is simple, they do not know and consequently violent crime continues to victimize the property’s guests and invitees. In slip and fall cases, many properties fail to ensure that their employees follow the internal policies and procedures to maintain the property in a safe manner. This leads to dangerous conditions being left on the property for an unacceptable amount of time.
If property owners simply prepare policies and procedures for their employees to follow and have appropriate supervision to ensure that the policies and procedures are being followed, then the most dangerous conditions would cease to exist. Obviously, financial considerations come into play for the property owners. In developing a premises liability case, it is important to discover exactly what property owners are failing to do and why they are failing to do it. Jurors do not appreciate property owners turning a blind eye and pleading ignorance. Jurors also do not accept that the owners do not want to put the necessary resources (money) into the property to make it safe.
According to WTVJ-TV in Miami, police have charged a local man who they say "pimped a teenage girl out of a Hialeah hotel" while the suspect was already in jail on a separate charge.
42-year-old Edward Lee was arrested on charges that included: human trafficking and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. By law, forcing any minor to have sex is considered human trafficking.
Trial lawyer Todd Michaels of The Haggard Law Firm said "For too long, human trafficking has been ignored. After drug dealing, it is the second most committed criminal act in the world. The horrors that the victims face...
Although each negligent security case may bring about different facts or require ingenuity with your strategy, there are certain elements of your case that remain constant. One of those elements is crime statistics. The importance of crime statistics in your case cannot be stated enough. Not only do these statistics help establish notice and foreseeability to the defendants, they are also a treasure trove of information.
With respect to notice and foreseeability, your crime statistics establish what the defendants “knew or should have known” prior to and at the time of subject incident. So what should you request? You begin by requesting the calls for service and all police reports for the subject property. This needs to be done in one request. From there, depending on your jurisdiction, you will order up to a mile radius for the calls for service. Once you receive each respective request, you must synthesize the data. For example, you will detail the violent and non-violent crimes and their frequency on the property. This provides a picture of what type of crime was going on at the property. It provides you with the ability to illustrate to the jury the level of crime occurring and can be used effectively to show that it is an improbability for a defendant to be unaware of the police being called to the property.
The Haggard Law Firm recognizes National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month throughout January. The Department of Defense defines Human Trafficking as” a crime in which force, fraud or coercion is used to compel a person to perform labor, services or commercial sex. It affects all populations: adults, children, men, women, foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, and all economic classes.”
Studies show that a large percentage of locations where sex trafficking takes place are commercial businesses like hotels, truck stops and massage parlors.. One survey found hotels and motels are the single-most common venue for sex trafficking in Florida during the first half of 2017. Experts say it is because the traffickers want to remain transient to avoid suspicion and arrest.”
Make your plans now to join The Haggard Law Firm's Michael Haggard from December 5th to the 7th in Portland, Oregon for the 2017 National Crime Victims Bar Association's National Conference, Civil Actions for Criminal Acts. Haggard, the organization's President-elect will be among the speakers during the conference. The event offers attorneys a chance to network and learn from other attorneys in the field, and connect with victim advocates, counselors, program managers, attorneys, social workers, psychologists, researchers, nurses, volunteers, administrators, clergy, nonprofit managers, system-based service providers, and leaders from across the country.
Conference Training Highlights Include:
15 workshops and four plenary sessions covering topics...
Congratulations to The Haggard Law Firm’s Managing Partner Michael Haggard who was named the recipient of the 2017 Perry Nichols Award.
The Perry Nichols Award was created in 1977 in honor of the visionary who first brought Florida’s leading trial attorneys together to create the Negligence and Compensation Lawyers of Florida, the predecessor to today’s Florida Justice Association. It is the most prestigious award given by our organization and is given to the attorney whose perseverance, commitment, and unmatched dedication to the civil justice system is at the forefront of their lives. The FJA says the award is bestowed upon the attorney who sets the standard for the rest of us to aspire to achieve.
When the market-leading information resource serving the security industry needs insight on how property owners and managers can avoid million dollar negligent security verdicts, it asks The Haggard Law Firm.
Haggard Law Firm Managing Partner Michael Haggard wrote an article for SourceSecurity.com titled: Securing Premises To Avoid Million Dollar Verdicts. In it, Haggard kays out the elements of negligence elaborate on risk-management practices and the importance of security as a responsibility.
Haggard Law has litigated more than 250 negligent security cases that have resulted in more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Here is the article as it appeared on SourceSecurity.com:
Each Haggard Law Firm has been recognized in the 2018 Best Lawyers in America List. Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Its methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Congratulations to (listed with practice area category):
James C. Blecke
Jason R. Brenner
Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Michael A. Haggard - 10th year on the list
Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs