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Can a Landlord Be Held Liable for Tenant Injuries?

It depends. If the injury occurred on leased property and was caused by one of the five following items, the landlord may be liable:

  1. Common areas (hallways, stairs). The landlord has a duty of reasonable care to maintain and repair the common areas. Safety in common areas is also a duty.
  2. Latent (hidden) defects. The landlord has a duty to disclose any hidden defects that he or she should reasonably be aware of. For example, if an apartment door has a defective knob that could harm a tenant and the defect is not readily apparent, then the landlord has a duty to disclose of that defect to the tenant. (Or simply repair it)
  3. Assumption of repairs. If the landlord chooses to self-remedy a broken handrail on a staircase, but does so erroneously, and a tenant subsequently gets injured from the handrail, then the landlord has assumed the liability flowing from his attempted repair.
  4. Public use. If the tenant operates a convenience store and is aware there is a defect on the premises, and also knows the tenant is unlikely to correct the problem, then the landlord has a duty to repair the problem or will be liable for the defect.
  5. Vacation homes or short-term rentals. The landlord is liable for any defects in the dwelling that cause harm to the tenant. (It may be advantageous to use a “terms of acceptance with an indemnification clause for certain activities in the rental contract, and carry a landlord insurance policy).

Source: CriticalPass Property Law MBE Flashcard. http://www.criticalpass.com

Image Source: Pixabay

Disclaimer: This information is not to be construed as legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. The reader assumes responsibility for the use of this material and information. The author assumes no responsibility or any liability whatsoever on behalf of any reader of this material. If the reader has any questions about the subject matter, he or she should consult with an attorney who practices real estate law and is duly licensed in the jurisdiction where the subject property is located.

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