Landlords are not automatically liable for the injuries that their tenants suffer while on their property. In most cases, landlords are responsible for tenants’ injuries only if the landlord’s inaction or action were careless and caused or contributed to an injury of a tenant. For example, lack of snow removal that leads to a tenant slipping and falling might result in negligence against a landlord if it was the responsibility of the landlord to remove the snow.
The legal concept of negligence, as it relates to a landlord’s action or inaction, is fact specific. A court would look at what the lardlord’s responsibilities were in the circumstances and whether the landlord fulfilled those responsibilities. A court may hold the landlord liable for a tenant’s injuries even in instances where the landlord did not intend to cause any harm. It is the responsibility of the landlord to see potential risks that may endanger a tenant. An act or failure to act can lead to an injury and tenant may have legal recourse for damages.
In most cases, landlords will be responsible for tenant injuries when they are legally obligated to repair and maintain the property in safe condition and they fail to do so. For example, if a tenant had been injured going up or down a broken set of stairs in a common area, the landlord is likely liable. If there are hidden dangers on the property and the landlord is aware of those dangers, they must disclose the hazards to their tenants.
What happens when your landlord is negligent?
If you are hurt due to the negligence of your landlord, most times the landlord’s insurance company will respond to the claim. The insurance company will put forward various defences arguing that the landlord wasn’t negligent in the circumstances or that the injury was in fact the tenant’s fault. In cases brought against the landlord, it is important to seek legal representation as often the insurance company will deny liability. Just because they deny liability, it doesn’t mean they are not at fault.
The actual cause of injury
Tenants must demonstrate that their injuries were a result of negligence from the landlord. In some instances, it is obvious. For example, if a tenant slips and falls on ice and breaks their leg it is obvious that the leg break was due to the uncleared ice. In other instances, it can be difficult to determine the cause of an injury because there is no clear connection between the landlord’s act or omission and the incident that took place.
If you’ve been injured due to a slip and fall or other accident, our team will provide the support, guidance, and advocacy you need. And we’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to discuss your case.