I was very interested to read in the Orlando Sentinel that the City of Orlando plans to institute a new plan designed to improve safety for apartment dwellers.  The program is called the Crime Free Multi-Housing program (or CFMH), and was first started in Arizona in the 1990’s.

CFMH begins with apartment complexes volunteering to join the program, and requiring their management to undergo special training on a special crime database.  Once complexes are certified, they begin having tenants sign leases with special clauses allowing the complexes to evict the tenants if the tenants are charged with crimes.  Apartment management can check the special database as often as they like in an effort to make sure that tenants are staying out of trouble.

Once a tenant is charged with a crime, a speedy eviction process is undertaken pursuant to the lease that the tenant signed.

Local law enforcement believes that this tool will make a real difference in making apartment complexes safer by getting rid of accused criminal tenants.

As an Orlando negligent security attorney, I am hopeful that this program will work as planned, but at the same time, I am skeptical.  First, my experience handling negligent security cases suggests that perpetrators of crime in apartment complexes are very often not residents in the complexes.  They often live nearby, but not necessarily in the same complex.

Second, I see additional potential liability on apartment complexes who fail to volunteer for the program (i.e. “why didn’t you join a simple program designed to make your tenants safer?”), as well as potential liability for those complexes who are members of the program but fail to perform searches often enough or decide not to enforce the eviction provision on a tenant before he commits a crime in the complex.

Whatever happens, if should be interesting to see how this program eventually works.  If you have any questions about negligent security claims, call Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444 for answers.

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