Where we live is important to all of us. We all want the safety and comfort of a good home. We want locks that work, gates to protect us, windows that shut and lock, good lighting in the parking lots, and an overall comforting place to live. At the very core, we want the basic essentials of our human needs, which is clean and hot water, electricity, and a solid roof over our heads.
Who Is Responsible For Safety At Apartments?
Safety is not just assigned to one person alone. It is typically a team of people. Everyone involved at an apartment complex has a role. It is top-down.
Generally safety responsibility starts with the owner - they are the ones that decide what kind of safety features they want on the property. For example, do they want a gate around the property, a gate at the front, security guards, off-duty officers, dual locks on doors, and security cameras, etc.? Owners usually have a clause in the contract that all decisions about the property over a certain amount must be approved by them, which means at a high level, they call the shots.
Next down the line is the property management company. They supply people to the apartment for day-to-day management and decision making. A lot of the safety decisions happen on this level. However, sometimes their hands are tied with an owner holding up safety decisions. Property management companies do not want to look bad on the profit margins to the owner, so they may not always recommend what is truly needed. There is a lot of tension in these relationships.
Last, the ground workers - whether maintenance or contractors that are brought in for bigger jobs - are the last leg of the process. They are necessary for actually installing the safety devices. When they are not installed properly, the property may look good on the outside, but it is a ticking time bomb until discovered.
Why Is Safety Not Their Priority?
Running an apartment complex involves a lot of different functions and goals. At the end of the day, the owner is in it for profit, which makes sense. However, when that motive impacts decisions on safety, then the dollar bill is being given priority over human life. We are not talking about blue versus black paint with these types of safety decisions. We are talking about installing security cameras to capture potential crimes versus not having them at all, and being unprotected.
A property management company is getting paid to take day-to-day pressure off the owner and make them more money by cutting costs. The easiest place to cut costs is safety devices and features. Instead of letting the owner know there is a problem, the property management company wants to inform the owner that everything is under control. Until a major injury or death happens, the property management company doesn't look bad.
What Do We Do To Prevent Future Crimes On Apartment Property?
When we get an inadequate security case, we immediately send a preservation letter to the property management company and owner of the complex. This puts them on notice to preserve and produce all evidence, including videos. Many times we hear back they don't have any.
Then, we do our own internal investigation using a team of investigators and research programs to find anything and everything on not only what happened to our client or their loved ones, but to prior families at that apartment complex. We look for ways that these events could have been prevented before they ever happened.
We work with our clients to make sure that they receive the closure they need and want, as well as holding the apartment complex and property management company accountable for what they could have prevented. These cases allow all of us to have safer apartment complexes and an overall safer environment.
If you or a loved one has been shot, injured, or killed at an apartment complex that was unsafe, please reach out to us. We handle these cases all over Texas; the majority of them in the Midland/Odessa area, Houston (Harris County), and Dallas (Dallas County). No matter where you are, feel free to always give us a call or reach out so we can answer your questions. We are here for you and together we can make a difference.