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Premises Liability in A Landlord and Tenant Relationship

Wilson & McQueen March 23, 2023

When defective conditions in a residential building cause injury to a tenant, can the tenant hold the property owner liable? The answer to this question is a common source of confusion to tenants who are suffering from slip and fall accidents, among other injuries, because of poor conditions in their building. While it is true that property owners have a legal duty to maintain common areas and warn tenants about hidden dangers, the rules attaching liability to a property owner in the event of a tenant injury are specific and the tenant must prove each claim individually. Proving the property owner’s negligence was a direct cause of injury is one of the major points necessary to raise the possibility that a property owner is accountable for damages. In some circumstances, this claim can be a fine line to navigate. For example, if you slip on a crack in the floor of a common area, you must prove the property owner knew about the condition and willingly failed to repair it.

Typically, only a tenant can hold landlords responsible for injuries they suffer. Guests and other visitors of a building who hurt themselves in a rental unit are the tenant’s responsibility. Liability falls on the landlord only in cases where the faulty workmanship of the landlord caused the injury. It can be complicated knowing whether you are entitled to damages from your landlord, but seeking the advice of a qualified premises liability attorney can help. At Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, our knowledgeable legal team can guide you through the legal process and fight for restitution from medical bills, lost wages, disability or disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

Landlord Liability

Negligence on the part of the property owner is necessary for liability to fall on their shoulders. Additionally, an injured tenant will have to prove:

  • The landlord had a duty to fix the condition and breached his duty by not fixing it in a reasonable amount of time

  • Fixing the condition would not have been unreasonably difficult or expensive

  • The cause of the injury was a failure to repair the hazard

  • The resulting injury was serious and probable

In some cases, a property owner has insurance that covers them for financial damages resulting from a defective property condition. In this case, any damages you seek will come from the insurance company rather than the property owner.

Contact a Premises Liability Attorney in Lexington

Premises liability can be confusing, especially if you are dealing with a landlord. At Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, our adept premises liability lawyers can help prove fault in your case and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. If you or someone you love sustained injuries due to defective conditions in the building you are leasing, don’t hesitate to contact our Lexington offices today to discuss your case in more detail.