Most people accept they are responsible for their own safety when out in public places. They know they need to stay sober and remain aware of their surroundings to avoid personal harm.
However, there are certain spaces people have a reasonable expectation of safety. The common spaces around apartments or rental houses are a perfect example. Landlords are responsible for maintaining shared stairwells, parking lots and entranceways for the use of everyone living in the building.
Sometimes, the way that landlords maintain their facilities may open them up to premises liability claims when people get hurt on their property. When might be landlord have liability for someone who got hurt while visiting their property?
When the landlord doesn’t adequately maintain the property
Adequate facility maintenance is key to the limitation of premises liability. Landlords need to ensure that the space is safe for everyone who enters. Any safety hazard that a reasonable person would identify as a risk could lead to premises liability claims against a property owner.
Loose handrails and poor lighting in stairways, a lack of rugs by an entranceway and loose or damaged flooring are all examples of facility maintenance issues that could lead to a completely preventable slip-and-fall incident. Landlords should either routinely inspect and maintain their properties themselves or hire professionals to do so.
When landlords don’t prevent criminal activity
A landlord doesn’t need to commit a crime to be partially to blame for it occurring. Certain kinds of crime are highly predictable. Muggings outside of businesses and assaults at places that have gaming or entertainment facilities are common.
When it is obvious that basic security measures would have prevented a crime from occurring, a victim may have a claim against the property owner. Improper lighting, inaccessible spaces or a lack of professional security staff and cameras can all contribute to the likelihood of a crime occurring.
Although landlords cannot prevent every incident that occurs on their property, they can take reasonable steps to deter criminal activity and facilitate prosecution after a crime occurs. They can also engage in proper maintenance, thereby drastically reducing the risk of certain kinds of accidents on their premises. Learning about when landlords may have promises liability can help you seek appropriate financial compensation following a slip-and-fall incident.