While there is no black and white answer to this question, Pennsylvania landlords do owe certain duties to their tenants and their tenants’ guests. For example, landlords are responsible for maintaining common areas such as stairwells and parking lots. Additionally, landlords are responsible for security measures like working locks and proper lighting. If the landlord is aware of a defect in one of these areas and does not correct it, he or she could be liable if that defect leads to an injury. However, the landlord’s liability would be for negligence.
In addition to lacking security measures, there is a possibility that the landlord could be liable if the abuser was an employee. In this case, the tort claim would fall under negligent hiring or negligent retention. In other words, the landlord would have ignored reasonable suspicion that the employee might cause injury. In addition to the landlord, liability could fall on the following parties:
- Property management company
- Property owner
- Security company
If you or a guest were sexually assaulted in an apartment complex or hotel, you should speak with an experienced sexual abuse attorney to determine the details and liability in your case. Every sex abuse case is different, so you should rely on the help and advice of professionals before deciding on next steps.