Inside the Complex Issue of Security Negligence in Community Associations

Community associations are responsible for the safety and security of its residents. It is important for the board of directors to review the association’s bylaws to understand their responsibilities to provide a safe and secure community. Proper security measures and enforcement of them helps mitigate an unfortunate accident from occurring and the potential of a lawsuit. In addition, Community Association Umbrella insurance is needed to provide financial risk protection.

Overview of our Community Association capabilities

Align Security Measures with Residents’ Expectations

While associations are generally not solely responsible for security, they may be held liable if they fail to take timely and appropriate action to address general community safety issues. For example, failing to provide adequate lighting in common areas and parking lots, or failing to repair broken security gates in gated communities, could expose the association to liability.  

It’s critical the community association’s security measures are aligned with what is required and meets the residents’ expectations and these measures are implemented and enforced.

  • Make sure security cameras on the property are functioning and recordings are preserved until the statute of limitations expires
  • Trim overgrown bushes so visibility along common walkways is not obscured
  • Ensure all exterior entry doors of common buildings are equipped with self-closing and self-locking mechanisms and they are in working order

Security Negligence Claims Examples

Typical security negligence claims for community associations involve car theft and vandalism, home burglaries, robberies, and assaults.

Assault

For example, in the aftermath of an assault that took place in an elevator of a condo building, the victim sued the association for security negligence. The lawsuit is ongoing.

Robbery & Burglary

In another case, a jury awarded a man $17 million for an injury he suffered after he was robbed and shot in the parking lot of his complex. The jury found the association guilty of security negligence.

Several years ago, a burglary took place in a gated community where two people were shot and killed in their home. There was no sign of forced entry. However, the entrance gate to the community was broken for approximately two months before the murders. The jury found the association’s property management company and the association 49% negligent and awarded damages of $4.5 million to the victims’ families.

Distinguished Programs provides Community Association Umbrella insurance for community associations to provide financial protection for security negligence. Our appetite includes condominiums, homeowners associations, co-ops, townhouses, and planned unit developments.

Claim Sources: Negligent Security Attorney

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