“A couple of weeks ago, I went down to my apartment’s community bike room to find that my bike (and the supposedly strong u lock keeping it safe) had been stolen. The only way into the bike room is to obtain a key made by the management company to enter the room. Any resident can request a key. There is a sign on the door entering the room stating that the building cant be held liable for any damage or loss of property in the room…
My bike was a Cannondale Badboy. A very unique bike (picture of what it looks like attached)
When I approached the management about the issue, they pointed me to the sign and suggested that I file a police report and make a claim with my renter’s insurance company. They said that they could not do anything about it…
After posting a notice about my stolen bike on the community message board, I received messages from other residents saying that they also had bikes stolen in the past and that the management had done nothing to fix the problem. They also said that because there seems to be no forced entry into the room, it is probably an “inside job” and probably another resident who has a key to the room.
Which leads me to my main question:
If there is reported theft and an obvious breakdown of security in a common space, does the apartment management have to :
A) Notify the community of the thefts
B) Take necessary steps to secure the space and ensure it is not happening again
C) Is there any legal recourse that I could take against the building for not fixing the problem?
My lease contract has the following terms:
Liability: To the maximum extent permitted by law, you agree that you will look solely to the owner’s interest in the Community for the recovery of
any judgment against us and that the owner, the management company, and any of their related and affiliated entities (and any of their officers,
directors, trustees, employees, partners, shareholders, insurers, agents and representatives) will never be personally liable for such judgment. Except
to the extent prohibited by law, we will not be liable for any damage, loss or injury to persons or property occurring in the Premises or in other areas of
the Community. To the fullest extent permitted by law, you agree to hold us harmless and to indemnify us from any such liability or claim.
But then below it in the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REQUIREMENTS AND DISCLOSURES ADDENDUM:
304 PROHIBITED WAIVER CLAUSES IN LEASE AGREEMENTS
304.3 No owner shall cause to be placed in a lease or rental agreement any provision
exempting the owner or premises from liability or limiting the liability of the owner or the
residential premises from damages for injuries to persons or property caused by or resulting
from the negligence of the owner (or the owner’s agents, servants, or employees) in the
operation, care, or maintenance of the leased premises, or any facility upon or portion of the
property of which the leased premises are a part.
Its my understanding that I can take the management to court for the loss?
Any insight would be helpful.”
You can see all forum topics and your own here.