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When is a landlord responsible for a slip-and-fall accident?

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2023 | Serious Personal Injury |

Some landlords are terrific and completely responsive to their tenant’s needs – but that’s definitely not the case for every landlord out there. Many tenants find that their landlords will pretty much ignore any maintenance issue that’s not causing an immediate problem, and that can lead to serious problems – including slip-and-fall injuries.

If you’re a tenant who suffers a slip and fall or you have a guest who was injured that way, when can the landlord be held responsible? Here’s what you should know:

Property owners are generally required to keep the premises reasonably safe

Premise liability law requires property owners to invest a certain amount of care into their properties to keep tenants, visitors and guests reasonably safe from harm – and that includes preventable slip-and-fall accidents.

Whether a landlord can be held liable for someone’s fall may still depend on a number of different factors:

  • Did the landlord know about the problem? If the cracked tile in the lobby of an apartment building just appeared that morning, the landlord may not have received notice about it in time to prevent any injuries. On the other hand, if the cracked tile had been there for months, it may not matter if the landlord was directly notified since they’re supposed to regularly check for problems and they should have known about the issue.
  • Was the hazard that led to the fall within the landlord’s control? A torn piece of carpet in the common area of an apartment complex, for example, is something that the landlord can control and address. They would not likely have liability, however, if you have a torn piece of carpet in the hallway inside your apartment and you never notified them about it.
  • Did the landlord take any measures to prevent injuries? For example, if there is a broken stair, did the landlord erect signs warning tenants to use the elevator instead? Did they put up hazard tape around a hole in the lobby floor? If there were sufficient warning signs and the injured person just ignored them, the landlord might not be liable.

There are a lot of complexities associated with slip-and-fall claims. If you believe that your landlord should bear the liability for your injuries and losses, it’s wise to get an experienced legal take on the situation before committing to a particular response.