Landlords have a duty of care to all tenants, guests, and even passersby. If they fail to maintain their property and someone gets hurt as a result, they could face a premises liability lawsuit. Here’s what all tenants should know about landlord responsibility following a slip and fall incident.
A Primer on Premises Liability
If the Accident Occurred Indoors
Landlords must maintain all common areas of the building. They’re also responsible for the upkeep of each rental unit; however, since tenants are entitled to a certain degree of privacy, residents have a duty to inform the property manager or owner when an issue arises. If one of the pipes in your unit starts leaking, for example, but the landlord has no way of knowing, they generally won’t be held liable should you slip and fall on the water. On the other hand, if you tell the landlord but they don’t make a good faith effort to perform the necessary repairs, it could be considered negligence. In such a scenario, you’d have grounds to file a premises liability suit should you slip and fall.
If the Accident Occurred Outside
Landlords are also responsible for maintaining the exteriors of their buildings, including stairs, stoops, and railings. Depending on the terms of each lease, though, some maintenance may be delegated to tenants or other caretakers. If you slip and fall on an icy step, for example, the party tasked with clearing the stairs would be liable. The lease may identify this party as the landlord, you, or a superintendent. As with accidents that occur indoors, successful premises liability cases that occur outdoors hinge on proving negligence.
If you want to file a premises liability lawsuit against a careless or neglectful landlord, turn to Stephen B. Kaufman, P.C. Based in the Bronx, NY, this personal injury lawyer is proud to help clients throughout the five boroughs recover compensation for the damages they’ve incurred. With more than four decades of experience, this attorney has a vast network of legal resources at his disposal. To learn more about his extensive experience, visit his website. To schedule an initial consultation, call (718) 822-0500.