When is a landlord liable for an injury to a tenant or visitor to the rental property?

shutterstock_285135947Property owners are responsible for keeping their tenants as safe as possible. No matter how conscientious an owner may be, however, there is always the chance an accident will occur on the premises. Unfortunately, tenants and other individuals who visit the property may file a lawsuit for compensation. The following information describes different types of premise liability that a landlord is responsible for and the steps that can be taken to minimize liability and lawsuits.

What Injuries and Incidents is a Property Owner Responsible For? 

A property owner may be liable if an accident was the result of not properly maintaining the property. A broken step or insufficient lighting are examples in which a landlord or owner would be responsible if an injury occurred. In such a case a tenant could file a personal injury lawsuit for medical expenses and lost earnings. Was the landlord responsible for maintaining the part of the property where the accident occurred?  Was fixing the problem reasonable? And was serious injury something that was a foreseeable consequence of not promptly fixing the problem? These are a few of the questions that are often asked when determining if a landlord is responsible for injuries.

What Injuries and Incidents is an Owner Not Responsible For?

If an individual is injured when he or she is aware of an unsafe condition and reasonable precautions were not taken, a business owner or landlord is not liable. If a property owner did not have knowledge of an unsafe condition and could not reasonably be expected to have known, there are not grounds for a lawsuit. And if an individual misuses the premises or acts in a way that is unsafe, the owner would not be liable for damages or injuries.

What Can Property Owners Do to Protect Themselves?

There are several steps a property owner can take to keep their premises as safe as possible. It’s important that a building is well lit at all times and that broken lights are quickly repaired. Cracks or holes in sidewalks and parking lots can cause injuries and need to be repaired. Providing adequate security and making sure all residents or customers are safe should be a top priority. Finally, to make sure a property owner is covered from all unforeseen incidents and injuries, having adequate liability insurance is crucial. When looking for the best liability insurance for property damage and personal injury, a property owner should contact the professionals at theRRD. We offer a variety of professional services including liability insurance to meet the needs of property owners and landlords.

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