Marvin M. Moore


Until approximately fifteen years ago a landlord was never held civilly liable to his tenants for injuries inflicted by the criminal acts of third persons, regardless of the deficiency of the security measures provided by the landlord.' The landlord was protected from tenant lawsuits by three factors: The historical concept of a lease, certain tort theories of a legalistic nature, and some policy concerns having significant influence upon the courts. In recent years the courts have begun holding landlords liable in some circumstances for criminally-induced injuries sustained by their tenants. The following discussion will examine the reasons for the landlord's former immunity from suits by victimized tenants and the kinds of situations in which he may now be found liable.