California Civil Code establishes that landlords are required to provide a safe living environment for tenants. When a landlord fails to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, they can be held liable for any injuries that occur due to their negligence. For all individuals who rent property in California, it is important to know that there are legal remedies for injuries which take place on a rental property.
WHAT ARE LANDLORDS LIABLE FOR?
When a property is leased or rented, the landlord has a legal obligation to maintain the apartment, home, or property in a safe condition. When a landlord fails to do so, they may be liable for injuries that occur on the property as a result of their negligence.
Examples of common injuries that may result from a landlord’s failure to maintain safe conditions may include:
- Injuries on poorly maintained stairwells, which may be exposed to the elements, poorly lit, and slippery;
- Drowning incidents in improperly maintained pools and pool areas, including young children who drown due to landlords failing to have required safety gates;
- Injuries that occur on playgrounds and other recreational equipment for children in common areas;
- Burns and other injuries sustained through faulty or dangerous water heaters;
- Collapsing materials such as ceiling tiles, exterior siding, roof pieces.
PROVING LANDLORD LIABILITY
Landlords are expected to use the care of a “reasonably prudent” landlord to manage rental properties. This requires that landlords keep all property in safe conditions, including not only the living areas but common areas as well. The upkeep and maintenance of pools, gyms, stairways, spas, playgrounds, basketball courts, dog parks and other common areas are landlord’s responsibilities.
Whether or not a landlord acted “reasonably prudent” in maintaining property will always depend on the circumstances. Common examples of landlord negligence include:
- The failure of the landlord to make repairs upon receiving notice of dangerous conditions;
- The landlord leaving repairs incomplete or negligently completing them;
- The landlord fails to provide warning of existing dangerous conditions that are not apparent to tenants.
Before a landlord can be found liable for injuries, the landlord must have knowledge of the potentially dangerous condition. Tenants should always notify landlords immediately when they become aware of an unsafe or hazardous condition.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A LIABILITY CLAIM AGAINST YOUR LANDLORD?
If you believe you have a liability claim against your landlord, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney about your claim. An attorney is best able to analyze and prepare evidence to prove the landlord both knew a hazardous condition existed, and that they failed to repair it properly. An attorney is also able to evaluate all legal defenses your landlord may raise to avoid liability.
An attorney will also be able to determine if there are additional defendants who may be responsible for injuries, such a property management company, ensuring you receive maximum compensation.
If you have been injured due to a landlord’s negligence, reach out to an attorney at Silva Injury Law.