Landlords are responsible for keeping their rental apartments, duplexes, condos, and homes in a habitable condition and free of dangerous conditions both inside the property and in the common areas, parking lot, and other outside areas. A landlord is supposed to regularly make inspections for potential problems and repair them promptly. If he fails to do so—which happens frequently—a tenant or his guest could suffer serious injuries in a slip and fall accident.
Common Ways Tenants and Their Guests Get Hurt At Rental Properties
Like with other premises liability cases, a tenant must show his fall was caused by the landlord’s negligence to obtain compensation for his injuries. The landlord must have known or reasonably known about the unsafe condition and failed to take action to prevent someone from slipping and falling. Common unsafe conditions in rental properties where landlords are often found responsible include:
- Cracked asphalt and potholes. Cracked pavement and potholes in parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks can cause someone to slip or trip and fall—especially at night when these hazards are harder to see.
- Broken staircases and steps. Many apartment complexes have apartments on multiple floors. When handrails or bannisters become loose or are nonexistent, tenants going upstairs to their apartment or up the entryway to the building can lose their grip and fall down the stairs. Steps that are worn, cracked, or loose can also pose a danger to unsuspecting tenants and their guests.
- Snow and ice. When landlords fail to remove snow or ice, sidewalks and parking lots can become treacherous for tenants. However, in smaller buildings, such as a house, condo, or an apartment in a house, the tenant could be the liable party if he is responsible for snow and ice removal.
- Torn carpet and flooring. Replacing worn and torn carpet can be expensive, so landlords often do not replace it when they should—with tenants and guests paying the price. In addition, flooring becomes chipped, worn, or cracked over time and another tripping hazard for those who must live in these conditions.
- Inadequate lighting. Insufficient lighting of stairwells, parking lots, and hallways can be even more likely to result in a slip and fall accident if handrails are loose, carpet is torn, or flooring or steps are damaged.
- Wet floors. Wet floors can be a problem near apartment building entrances when proper mats are not used and wet surfaces are not kept dry. In addition, if landlords fail to fix roof leaks—another expensive repair landlords often put off—or plumbing leaks within a rental unit or home, water can cause floors to be slippery on a daily basis, making a slip and fall accident even more likely to happen.
- Pools. Some apartment complexes have outdoor or indoor swimming pools. Pool decks, floors, and changing areas can become wet and slippery if staff do not clean up water and spills promptly.
Did you or a guest slip and fall at your rental property? Call our experienced legal team at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free, no-obligation, consultation.