I read with great interest an article on WFTV.com describing a phenomenon that many apartment complex owners and managers say is impossible. On May 27th, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings officiated a ceremony certifying the Beacon Hill Apartments as Orange County’s first Crime-Free Multi-Housing Complex. The certification is the culmination of a three-phase project that took almost five years to complete. The project included multiple property upgrades such as door peepholes and fencing around the entire complex. Applicant screening became much more rigid. The property manager of Beacon Hill indicated that it took tens of the thousands of dollars to achieve the certification. I say, “Bravo” to the owners and managers of Beacon Hill. When we bring negligent security cases against apartment complexes after our clients have been shot, raped, or otherwise assaulted, the complexes always say that they cannot afford to put increased security measures in place. They always say that they would have to drastically increase rents to make their properties as safe as we would like them to be. Or, they say that the complexes are just located in dangerous neighborhoods, and therefore tenants should expect a certain level of crime. The Beacon Hill experience tells us that these arguments are nonsense. If an apartment complex is seriously committed to providing a safe environment for residents and guests, it can make it happen. It might take some effort, and will almost undoubtedly cost some money. However, these seem like small prices to pay to provide a safe place for our children to grow up, and for our elderly to live out their golden years. Here’s hoping that Beacon Hill remains a Crime Free Complex, and that other apartment complexes in Central Florida (and particularly those with reputations for crime and violence) follow suit. If you have any questions regarding a Florida apartment shooting, rape, or assault, or a claim for negligent security, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill for a free consultation at...Read More »
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