When a person is injured in their own home, they usually assume that liability is their own responsibility. What happens when a person is injured in a property that they are renting? Can a landlord be held liable for these injuries?
Landlords are often found to be liable under the concept of premises liability. Properties that are rented to a tenant must be maintained in a way that ensures the safety of tenants and visitors. Unfortunately, understanding who is liable when it comes to a rental property can sometimes be confusing.
Renter & Landlord Liability for Snow and Ice
Renters do not always have the responsibility of removing snow and ice from the property that they rent, but this needs to be established in the lease. Most people who rent a single family home are responsible for snow removal. Apartment complexes typically have a maintenance person who will remove snow and ice, but this is not always the case. Read the lease carefully to ensure that you are aware of who needs to be removing slippery substances from sidewalks and other paths.
People who rent a property in a retirement community or those who rent a property that is managed by a property management company may not have to worry about snow and ice removal. If a fall occurs because snow and ice are not removed, liability would lie with the landlord.
Renters who are responsible for snow and ice removal must adhere to local ordinances. Many townships or municipalities require that snow and ice be removed within a certain period of time after snow stops falling. If renters fail to remove slippery substances, they may be held liable when a person who is passing by falls on the walkway in front of their rental property.
Accidents Due To Code Violations
Landlords are responsible to keep their properties up to code. Code inspections may be periodically done to ensure that there are no violations, but not every property is targeted by code enforcement officers.
Failing to keep a rental property in livable condition can lead to slip and fall accidents. Examples of code violations that may contribute to falls include the following.
– Staircases may be left in disrepair. Crumbling, cracking or deformities in a staircase could allow a person to trip and fall down the stairs. Serious injury may occur when stairs are not properly maintained.
– Renovations or other construction projects that are being done in an apartment complex may not be properly marked. If there is no sign warning residents to stay away from the hazardous construction zone, a tenant may accidentally trip and fall in the area.
– Lobbies and other common areas need to be mopped on occasion. This leads to a slippery floor, and a sign warning tenants about the hazard should be put up. If a slip and fall occurs and a warning was not visible, the property manager or owner could be held liable.
– Sidewalks and curbs that are uneven or crumbling could cause a dangerous situation where a trip and fall accident could happen.
Getting Help After a Slip & Fall Accident
If you are a renter and you were injured in a slip and fall accident due to negligence on the part of your landlord, you may be entitled to compensation. A legal professional who knows how to handle personal injury cases can help you receive the compensation that you need to pay for medical expenses related to your injury. You may also be entitled to compensation for your lost wages or a loss of quality of life that results from your injury. To find out more about your rights following a slip and fall accident, contact an attorney to schedule a free consultation.