When you rent an apartment or house, one of the things you’re paying for is a place where you are safe. You have a reasonable expectation that the Rental Property has been made into a safe environment so you aren’t subject to injured. It is your landlord’s responsibility to provide that environment.
However, not all landlords take this responsibility seriously in an effort to save money. And accidents injured can still happen even when you have a responsible landlord. You could have a slip-and-fall accident due to bad flooring, or there may be faulty electrical that results in you getting shocked. In this article, we will go over what you need to know if you find yourself injured in your rental.
1 – What your landlord is responsible for
Landlords are legally required to ensure that the property is safe for tenants. This is called their duty of care and it isn’t an option. It is part of what you pay for when you rent an apartment or house.
This means that landlords have to conduct regular inspections of the property and fix any potential hazards that could cause harm to tenants. If a landlord is aware of a dangerous condition and doesn’t do anything about it, or should have been aware through proper inspection, they can be held accountable for any resulting injuries.
An example would be if there were a step on the stairs that were broken and you fell as a result that caused an injury, your landlord will be held liable and responsible for damages in a settlement or lawsuit. If it was brought to the landlord’s attention, or it was noticed during an inspection and nothing was done then they are considered negligent.
However, not every injury is the responsibility of the landlord. They are only liable if they have been negligent in maintaining the property. Negligence, in this case, means failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the property is safe.
This could involve ignoring tenant complaints about unsafe conditions or delaying necessary repairs. If you were to burn yourself using the stove that works as it’s supposed to, you don’t have a claim, for instance.
2 – Tenant rights and responsibilities
You, as a tenant, also bear some responsibility in making sure that you are safe and can avoid injuries. You’re expected to use the property responsibly and not cause damage that could result in an injury. It’s also your responsibility to alert your landlord in a timely manner if there is a safety hazard present.
There are situations where you might be held partly or even fully responsible for an injury. This can happen if your own actions or negligence lead to the injury. For example, if you were not using the stove responsibly and broke it which made it unsafe to use, then you’re responsible if somebody gets injured. You’re also responsible if you fail to report a dangerous condition and this leads to an injury.
You do have rights that come into play, however. If you’re injured because the landlord did not maintain the property or failed to fix a hazard that you reported, then you may have grounds for a legal claim. In a settlement, you could be awarded damages for injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses.
3 – Reporting incidents
If you are injured in a rental property, it is very important to report it right away. You should make a report in writing with the date and time of the injury, where it happened, and how it happened. Doing it in writing will make it difficult for a landlord to deny that they were alerted or had any knowledge of the incident injured . It can be in the form of a written letter or in an email.
Before you make a claim make sure that you have all the necessary documentation at hand. If you reported a safety hazard before the incident, make sure that you have documentation from that reporting. This will show negligence on the part of the landlord. If you have photos of the hazard and then the aftermath of the accident that caused an injury then this will also be helpful.
Next, keep any paperwork given to you by your doctor about your injured along with the expenses related to it including lost wages.
Once you know what you and your landlord are both responsible for, you can stay safe in your rental. However, if you do find yourself injured, then keep in mind the advice from this article so you can claim damages.