Can A Tenant Sue A Landlord for Injury on A Rental Property?
Living in a rental property comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is maintaining your safety and well-being.
Landlords have a legal duty to maintain a safe and habitable environment for their tenants. This means they must address hazards like faulty wiring, leaking plumbing, and other similar issues to prevent accidents.
But, what happens if they breach their duty, and it results in injury? Can you sue your landlord for your injuries?
In this blog, we’ll explore the duties of a landlord, tenant rights, and how premise liability works. We’ll also discuss what to do if you get into an accident while in your rental.
Read on to find out more about how landlord-tenant relationships work.
The Responsibilities of a Landlord
According to state laws, rental properties have an implied warranty of habitability. Property owners and landlords must ensure their units are safe and fit for occupation.
It’s up to them to maintain their units in good condition and promptly address any hazards that could harm their visitors.
Several accidents can happen in a poorly maintained rental property. For example, you could slip and fall on uneven walkways or poorly lit stairwells. These incidents typically result in injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Strains and sprains
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Chronic pain
There are certain cases where these incidents have led to debilitating injuries and even death. With this in mind, you must know what your rights are as a tenant.
Can A Tenant Sue A Landlord For Injuries?
Tenants can sue their landlords for injuries caused by poorly maintained facilities under premise liability.
Premise liability refers to the legal concept of holding property owners, including landlords, responsible for keeping their premises safe and free of harmful hazards like wet floors, cracked pavements, and exposed wiring.
If they fail to fulfill this responsibility, they will be held liable for any damages or injuries a tenant sustains while on their property.
How to Sue A Landlord
If you want to sue your landlord successfully, you have to establish negligence and prove these four elements:
- The defendant owns the property at the time of the injury: You have to prove in your case that the defendant or your landlord owns the rental property at the time of the injury.
- The defendant was negligent in maintaining their property: A landlord will be considered negligent if they fail to meet the standard of care they owe the plaintiff. This standard varies depending on what your relationship is with the property owner.
- The plaintiff was injured due to the defendant’s negligence: The injuries you’ve sustained must be the direct result of your landlord’s negligence.
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm and damages: There must be proof that you suffered harm and other compensable damages due to your landlord’s negligence.
What Else Can You Sue A Landlord For?
Aside from negligence, tenants like you can sue landlords for the following reasons:
As discussed earlier, rental properties have an implied warranty of habitability. Several factors could make a property unsafe to live in, such as:
- Faulty carbon monoxide detectors
- Leaky roof
- Lead paint
- Lack of water and electricity
If you’ve raised these issues to your landlord, yet they refused to make repairs, you have the right to seek legal action against them.
Violation of Quiet Enjoyment
As a tenant, you have the right to quiet enjoyment, which is the legal right to use and enjoy your rental without obstruction or intrusion.
Landlords can only enter your home to check for damages and make repairs. If they force themselves into the unit without giving you a good reason, you can file a lawsuit against them.
Illegal Clauses in Rental Agreements
There are certain things that landlords are not allowed to put in their lease agreement. For instance, they can’t add a clause denying responsibility for repairs or provisions to force you out whenever they want.
Technically, landlords can evict tenants, but only for nonpayment of rent, violating lease terms or causing damage to the unit. They can’t force people out for no reason.
Even if they have just cause for eviction, they have to follow the proper procedures for eviction. If they try to physically remove you from the premises without a properly enforced court order, you can file a lawsuit against them for wrongful eviction.
What to Do If You Get Injured in Your Rental Property
Here’s what you need to do if you were injured inside your rental unit:
Get Immediate Medical Treatment
The first thing you need to do if you get injured is to get immediate medical treatment. Even if you believe you weren’t severely injured, you still need to get examined by a medical professional.
Certain injuries don’t manifest themselves until later on, and if left untreated, they could cause more harm to your condition. So, it would be best to go straight to a doctor immediately.
Report the Incident
Once you get the treatment you need, you must contact your landlord and make an official incident report. Put the incident into writing and ask the landlord for a copy.
It should outline important details about the incident, like the time, date, and location where it occurred. This document will be vital should you decide to file a claim.
Hire A Lawyer
There’s no denying that premise liability claims can be complicated. You have to consider several factors, including the nuances of landlord-tenant relationships. It would be best to hire an experienced attorney specializing in personal injury.
Seasoned lawyers bring invaluable expertise to the table. They can help you gather evidence, establish liability, and represent you during negotiations. With a reliable attorney by your side, you can rest easy knowing that your case is in the hands of an expert.
Speak to An Attorney Today
If you need help suing your landlord, Adamson Adhoot is here to help.
Adamson Adhoot is one of California’s leading civil litigation firms. With a combined experience of 100 years, our seasoned attorneys have handled various personal injury cases ranging from car accidents to wrongful death claims.
Our team will help you seek legal action against your negligent landlord and ensure that your tenant rights are protected.
Speak to an attorney today. Call Adamson Ahdoot at (800) 310-1606 or visit our website to book a free consultation.
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