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Landlord fails to fix door lock, leads to horrific crimes

Many Maryland residents deal with unreliable or plain negligent landlords on a regular basis; and for those unfortunate souls, it is best to chronicle all of the wrongful actions of your landlord. Keeping such a record of improprieties can greatly bolster any premises liability case you may have to make due to poor or unsafe living conditions that the landlord could have (and should have) repaired.

For one out-of-state landlord, the complete lack of safety at an apartment he was looking after has led to a horrific crime where a woman was raped, sodomized and tortured for six hours. All he needed to do was fix a broken door, and the disturbing incident likely would have been avoided.

It happened in Missouri, where a woman was in her apartment which had a sliding glass door that did not have a lock that was properly working. She had informed her landlord of the issue before and, given that the apartment complex had been targeted by criminals in the five years leading up to this incident, you would think the landlord would have taken the safety risk seriously.

Even more egregiously, the landlord forbid the woman to put any additional locking measures on the door -- the landlord had an obligation to fix the broken door, but seemingly decided to ignore the problem, resulting in this horrible crime.

The woman has filed a premises liability claim against the landlord, claiming that his negligence contributed to the incident. She seeks punitive and actual damages for the traumatizing incident.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Woman Blames Landlords for Torture," Joe Harris, June 11, 2012

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