Can you hold your condo's guard gated security responsible for property loss due to lack of security?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Las Vegas, NV

A couple months ago my girlfriend's ex-husband had entered our condo residence at the guard gate, didn't have an address and name to give and was told by the guard to turn around. Instead, he went through the gate and made an immediate right turn, followed his GPS to where he thought my girlfriend's car would be parked, and stole around $6000 worth of valuables out of it having had a spare key to the vehicle; jewelry, shoes, designer dresses, perfume, etc all gone...pretty much all of her possessions leaving her with nothing. Some of the items were things I bought her (necklace, clothing, etc) some he had bought, some she had previously required, family jewelry, etc...but they were all belonging to her in a car bought by her (though the car was registered under his name). He even stole her birth certificate and she had to replace that.

By meeting him a few days later to clear things up...he told me the joke of a security that exists at my residence that I pay $350 a month for ($175 x 2 units).

Due to him having a bit of power over her citizenship, I really thought it best not to go after him for any losses and I didn't want to hold the security responsible (at the time) because I was planning on buying more units and I didn't want a blemish on this condo's lack of security if it got around...

Recently been fed up with the HOA trying to "raise money" with $25 for .30 rubber pool wrist bands that I have this attitude where if the security put in half the effort to have ensured safety of my gf's possessions by radioing on their 24/hr patrol that constantly roams to notify them of a guy breaking/disobeying guard orders and to follow up on it rather than the effort they put in to monitor a pool bracelet (among other things) then I wouldn't be out thousands of dollars in having to replace these items.

Due to the arrogance and attitude of one of the guards in particular when I explained what had happened I am about ready to take action...do I have any legal recourse against the HOA or guard company the HOA put in place?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Terrence Marc Rubino

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . in theory you might but the cost of litigation would greatly exceed what you might recover. the first place to seek recovery would be under the comprehensive coverage of the girlfriend's auto insurance assuming she had it. it covers theft. the second source of course is the ex boyfriend. good luck

  2. Howard Robert Roitman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . First off it will be hard to show the HOA should have known the bad thing that the ex planed.We're Incredibly Petty."
    In many associations being hard-nosed about the rules is practically the board's raison d'etre. "Some of these board members have nothing better to do. So instead of taking care of the property, they censor people's lifestyles," don't get them started on you . Think it couldn't happen to you? Think again. Many people who belong to homeowners associations do not understand just how much power these groups have over them. in some cases "you don't even get to go to court," says Evan McKenzie, a lawyer turned political science professor in Chicago and the author of Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government

    The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing... more
  3. George G. Trachtman

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . In short, you do, but it's an uphill battle. It is very easy in this case for the HOA to defend themselves by arguing that it was a criminal matter that could not bee foreseen. Moreover, they can argue assumption of risk in keeping all the jewelry and other items in the vehicle knowing that he has an extra key. I think the best approach is to file a criminal complaint against the ex (even individuals without proper documentation are protected against crimes and the police will investigate), and/or file an auto insurance claim for theft (if there is auto insurance), and/or file a small claims lawsuit against the ex. Regarding the bad security, you should let the HOA know about it. Put them on notice of what is occurring. This way, if it happens again, at least they have notice of the bad security. However, suing may not be the best option. Unless of course, they have had numerous notices and they still refuse to correct the issue.

    The answer above is only based upon the limited information provided. The answer is limited and my review is... more

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