The Cross Law Firm's Landlord Law Blog

April 29, 2010

Call the Police, Make a Report

This is part 6 of my blog series about dealing with threatening and violent residents.

Image of Police OfficerAgain, workplace violence incidents will differ substantially and the specifics of each situation will dictate which response should be taken, if any, and in which order.  In many cases it is necessary to

Call the police, make a report

The most obvious action an employee can and should take if the resident displayed threatening or violent behavior towards them is to call the police to come out and make a police report. Again, whether this option is appropriate, depends on the facts of the situation. If the police are called, get the officer’s name, the incident report number and a copy of the report for your file.

* For specific inquiries regarding a threatening/violent tenant you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Landlord – Tenant legal services page.

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April 15, 2010

Procedures After Aggressive/Violent Behavior by a Resident has Occurred

This is the part 5 of my blog series about dealing with threatening and violent residents.

Image of woman looking out of blinds at stalkerIf there has been behavior by a resident towards an employee that has been threatening or harassing, you want to make sure to address it immediately. Examples of abusive or threatening behavior can vary from minor to extreme, but all should be addressed. An example of harassing or abusive behavior would be a resident stalking, yelling at and/or using profanities toward the employee. An example of a threat of violence by a resident would be the resident telling the employee: “you’re going to get it,” “you’ll be sorry,” or “I’m going to kill you.”

Acts of aggression toward the employee could be damaging an employee’s property. More serious acts of violence toward the employee could be a resident pushing, striking or physically harming the employee. These are just a few examples and even though the severities of each differ, all of these examples warrant attention and should be stopped.

If aggressive/violent behavior occurs, have the employee make a written account of what happened, the date, time and any witnesses. Make sure that the employee is specific as to details. Write down exactly what was said (“he yelled at me that he was going to hurt me”), what actions were taken (“he waived his fist inches from my face.”) Have the employee sign and date the statement. Talk to any witnesses, have the witnesses prepare a written account of the event and have them sign and date the statement. Forward these statements to your attorney.

* For specific inquiries regarding a threatening/violent tenant you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Landlord – Tenant legal services page.

April 9, 2010

Procedures & Training Regarding the Handling of Difficult Residents

This is the part 4 of my blog series about dealing with threatening and violent residents.

Image of Seminar AudienceThere are several seminars or guidelines instructing managers/employees on how to handle difficult residents. If your manager or on site employee hasn’t already taken a course regarding this, send them. Document their training, who went and when, and keep the information in your files. The information they receive may be invaluable both in recognizing a potential problem situation before it occurs and defusing it, but also in appropriately handling a volatile situation when it occurs.

Use the materials received or contact your legal counsel to create your own guidelines or policy regarding violence in the workplace. Train your employees on this policy.

Some basic suggestions to have in your policy:

  1. Buddy System – Have a buddy system for dealing with angry residents so that the manager or employee is not alone or they have someone to call to assist them when/if an angry resident confronts them. Just having another person in the room may help defuse the situation.
  2. Separate Room – Have a separate room with a lock on the door and a phone for the manager or employee to go to if needed.
  3. Contact Police – Ensure the employee knows when it is appropriate to contact the police for help. Emergency situations must be addressed promptly.
  4. Signals – Have signals or code words to alert other employees when a manager or employee needs help.

Contact your legal counsel to assist you in creating a policy that is appropriate for your office and employees.

* For specific inquiries regarding a threatening/violent tenant you may have, you’re welcome to visit my California Landlord – Tenant legal services page.

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