What Renters Need To Know About Their Landlords’ Duties and Liability
Under the Premises Liability Law, landlords can be held liable for accidents caused by a dangerous property. The danger can be due to substandard building materials, hazardous constructions, faulty and substandard design, clutter, or poor maintenance.
What are your Landlord’s Basic Duties?
As a renter, here are the facts you should know about your landlord’s responsibilities.
- A landlord must use reasonable care and maintain his or her property. Regular inspection and maintenance ensures the safety of the premises and prevents accidents. Dangerous conditions that will expose the renters of the premises to unreasonable risk of harm must be detected.
- Once the dangerous condition is known, the landlord is given time to fix it.
- In order to establish liability of the landlord, there must be negligence on his or her part. Negligence of the landlord’s employee will also be the responsibility of the landlord.
- Landlords do not have a responsibility to guarantee the safety of his property for other people. He or she must only exert care in keeping the property and its premises reasonably safe. If there are known and concealed dangers, he or she must inform and give his renters ample warning and notice.
- Landlords must abide by industry standards, state laws, and regulations that are created to ensure the safety of tenants. If the landlord violates them, his or her failure to exercise care for his or her property will be presumed.
- The property must be in a habitable condition – with effective weather protection, working plumbing facilities, working gas facilities, working and maintained electrical system, and working smoke detectors, among other requirements.
How can Landlords be Held Liable for a Renter’s Accident?
If accidents should happen that will lead to injuries and disastrous results, the landlord can be held responsible if it is proven that he or she has been negligent in his duties. To be held liable, the following must be established:
- The landlord is responsible for maintaining the location of the accident.
- The landlord failed to take safety steps and measures to avoid accidents.
- The landlord is fully capable to fix the problem.
- Not fixing the dangerous condition resulted in said accident and injury.
- The landlord’s negligence resulted in the renter’s accident and injury.
What are your Responsibilities as a Renter in Keeping the Premises Safe?
As a renter, you also have your own fair share of responsibilities in keeping your premises safe. Therefore, you should:
- Keep your unit clean and sanitary.
- Use facilities and fixtures properly.
- Dispose of trash properly, as your trash can attract pests which can inhabit your unit and cause damage.
- Do not remove any part of the existing structure.
- Use the unit as a place to live, and each room according to its intended use.
- Immediately notify the landlord of any problems and potential hazards: non-working bolts and locks, leaking gas, leaking pipes, damaged wires, etc.
If you have been involved in an accident in a rental property which led to injuries and damage to your belongings, consult a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
A premises liability lawyer can help you plan your options and your next legal steps. Know and fight for your legal rights, with an expert by your side. Contact Matt Fleming today.