As the victim in a premises liability case, you’re often most concerned with what happens to you away from home. Maybe a store owner didn’t clean up a spill and you slipped and fell, or maybe a negligent homeowner down the street left ice on the sidewalks during a cold spell.
However, if you’re a renter, it’s important to remember that you could be the victim in a premises liability case in the home in which you live. Renters do have rights. They don’t own their homes, and the owners can therefore be held liable if they do not provide a safe and habitable space.
Of course, this doesn’t mean your landlord does everything for you. You’re responsible for cleaning up private spaces, for example, and your lease may give you more responsibilities, like cleaning up garbage and clearing the sidewalk.
However, if the landlord is negligent and forces you to live in a place with a clear, inherent danger, he or she then may be at fault if you’re hurt.
For instance, maybe a pipe broke in your basement, which is tiled. The tile floor became incredibly slippery, and the pipe kept dripping. You told your landlord, and he didn’t do anything to fix it. Finally, after a month, you had to go into the basement, and you slipped and fell.
This is just one example, but it shows how a negligent landlord who does not promptly repair damage could be held liable when injuries occur. Dangers include things like broken handrails, loose steps, exposed wiring and more. If you’re injured and you believe your landlord was at fault, it’s crucial to know how to seek compensation. An attorney can help you learn more about this type of civil court process.
Source: Money Under 30, “Landlords: How to Deal with a Negligent Property Manager,” Sarah Davis, accessed Feb. 24, 2017