In What Ways Should a Lawsuit be Filed Against an Apartment Complex?

By Juliet D'cruz

Apartment complex owners owe a duty of care to their tenants and visitors. They must take appropriate precautions to keep tenants safe. Sometimes, apartment complexes do not take necessary precautions to ensure safety. If you are a victim as a result of negligence, the complex may be held responsible.

If you suffer injury or harm in an apartment complex, you can file a lawsuit against the complex. Sometimes, the landlord may want to settle out of court quickly. Never settle out of court without the presence of your lawyer. Moreover, you’ll get more compensation if you settle in court.

If you are concerned about the financial cost and duration of a court trial, then consider pre-settlement funding. You can source the most reliable lawsuit lending companies. These pre-settlement funding companies will provide you with funds to treat yourself and pay your bills. 

Also, the funds are non-recourse. That means that if you lose your case, you are not required to pay back. Getting a lawsuit loan is way better than refusing to sue or settling for less. Here is a detailed explanation of how to file against an apartment complex.

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Complaint Drafting

Drafting a petition may be the best way to get the property landlord’s attention when a tenant feels that their issues are not being addressed.

Drawing a formal complaint (also known as a petition) is the first step in filing a lawsuit for an apartment complex. The complaint is the document that initiates the lawsuit process. However, a complaint must be written in accordance with the court’s local rules.

The complaint analyzes all of the facts pertaining to your situation. The more information you can give, the more thoroughly your complaint can be investigated. Some other important information that you should add to the facts pertaining to your situation in your complaints are:

  • The county you live in.
  • Your name.
  • Your landlord’s name.
  • The law or laws you believe the apartment complex or landlord has violated. State laws governing obligations and liabilities of landlords and tenants differ. Every state has premises liability laws requiring landlords to maintain a safe environment for tenants and visitors.
  • The name of the court to which you are bringing the petition.
  • The docket number that the court clerk will give you when you file this petition with the court.

There are other details that have to be in your complaints. Your complaint might be eligible for filing in small claims court. This depends on the amount you’re suing the complex or landlord for. Each state has a small claims court monetary limit. The complaint will be submitted to a civil court if your sum is greater than that limit.

Service of Process

In order to start a civil lawsuit, a service of process is necessary. In fact, service of process is so crucial to a lawsuit that, if it is not done correctly, the lawsuit cannot move forward. Because it proves that the court hearing the case has jurisdiction over the defendant, service of process is crucial. 

A court’s ability to hear a dispute involving two or more parties is known as jurisdiction. These parties have some connection to the court which gives the court jurisdiction. They could be residents of the state where the court is located, or it is the location of the plaintiff’s injury.

An official copy of the paperwork must be hand-delivered to the complex. This must be done after the complaint has been properly written and filed in the appropriate court. 

State laws vary, but typically a uniformed officer or a professional process server can deliver the paperwork to the right person. It can, however, occasionally be challenging to identify who that is. 

What do you do if the apartment complex’s landlord does not own the structure? It is preferable to deliver a copy of the paperwork to the management firm’s offices rather than the landlord. 

Service of process informs the landlord that a lawsuit has been filed and that it will soon be heard by the court. The lawsuit process can proceed with the next steps when the paperwork is received. 

Pre-Trial, Discovery, Settlement, Trial, and Decision in Court

The court may schedule a pre-trial when the complaint copy has been distributed to the necessary parties. That is if the case cannot be settled through negotiation. Various topics may be discussed during the judge’s pre-trial hearing. Usually, the court will lay out the ground rules for the upcoming trial. 

It’s crucial to remember that at this stage of the procedure, the parties to the case are still able to negotiate. This might prevent the need for a trial altogether. The case may proceed to discovery if an agreement cannot be reached during the pre-trial stage. 

The case’s parties exchange the evidence they have gathered and plan to present at trial during the discovery phase. During this stage, there may be 

  • Depositions
  • Requests for admission
  • And interrogatories, which are essentially written depositions. 

The case will go to trial if an agreement is still not reached at this point. The judge will make a determination after the exchange of arguments and evidence. This is also coupled with the questioning of any necessary witnesses. If you win the case, you will be entitled to recover damages due to you.

Reasons to Sue an Apartment Complex

There are a number of reasons why you can sue your landlord. 

  • Failure to provide a secure and livable apartment or complex
  • Breach of apartment lease terms
  • Entering the apartment without giving the necessary notice
  • Not returning a security deposit
  • Wrongful eviction
  • Discrimination


No one goes into an apartment complex with the aim of getting hurt. Landlords and apartment complex managers owe tenants and visitors safety. Negligent landlords should be sued if any injury occurs due to their recklessness.

However, suing an apartment complex can be expensive and demanding. Ensure that you have sufficient evidence before following through with the lawsuit. Also, a pre-settlement loan can be of help if you are financially handicapped due to the injuries sustained.

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