“Is my landlord responsible if I get hurt on their property?”
The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is bound by certain responsibilities, dictated by both the lease agreement and state laws. There is a fundamental expectation of a safe and habitable living environment. However, determining liability when a tenant gets hurt can be a legal maze.
Landlord Negligence and “Duty of Care”
In the legal world, the term “duty of care” is fundamental. This term connects to a legal obligation that requires the landlord to maintain the rented premises in a reasonably safe condition. Simply put, landlords have a duty to guard against foreseeable accidents by ensuring that their properties are in a secure and habitable condition. This duty extends to common areas such as staircases, lobbies, parking lots, sidewalks, and other similar spaces.
Instances When Your Landlord Can Be Held Responsible
1. Negligence: If your landlord behaves negligently and their actions (or lack thereof) lead to an accident, they can be held responsible. Instances of negligence might include failing to maintain the property or not responding in a timely manner to repair requests that, if left unattended, could lead to injury.
2. Code Violations: Landlords must ensure their properties are up to building codes. If a tenant is injured as a result of unsafe conditions due to code violations, the landlord can be held accountable.
3. Failure to Warn: If a landlord knowingly fails to warn tenants about potential risks, such as a slippery walkway or a loose railing, and an injury occurs as a result, they can be held liable.
4. Defective Conditions: Landlords can be held responsible if their failure to address and repair clearly defective property conditions leads to a tenant’s injury.
When Your Landlord May Not Be Held Responsible
There are circumstances when a landlord might not be held accountable, for example:
1. Injuries That Occur in a Tenant’s Personal Unit: Typically, landlords aren’t responsible for injuries within tenant units unless the injury is due to poor property maintenance, structural damage, or a violation of health and/or safety codes.
2. Self-Caused Injuries: When the injury is caused due to the tenant’s own carelessness or negligence, the landlord may not be held responsible.
3. Unreported Hazards: If a tenant identifies a hazard but does not report it to the landlord, the court may absolve the landlord of responsibility for any injuries suffered due to this hazard.
While some cases are straightforward, many are complex and require the expertise of an experienced attorney. At Gianaris Trial Lawyers, we are committed to ensuring that you know your rights and on fighting for compensation should you suffer an injury due to your landlord’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured and believe your landlord may be at fault, please contact us today for a complimentary consultation.