Who is Liable for a Rental Property Injury?
Everyone wants to feel safe and comfortable in their own homes, even if you rent that home. If you’re like most renters, you researched for days and toured several locations to find a place that was ideal for your family and lifestyle. However, no matter how thorough you were as a prospective renter, it’s possible that you missed some problems or issues with the property that were invisible to the naked eye. You may have been willing to overlook small imperfections, like some scuffed wallpaper or a squeaky door hinge, but unfortunately, there can also be issues that are more threatening and can end up costing you or a family member’s health or safety.
Rental property injuries can stem from things like hazards that a rental home owner should have fixed, to issues like danger at a vacation rental home. Whatever the situation, a negligent rental property owner may be responsible for their actions–or inaction–if it led to an injury or illness. The experienced attorneys at Abels & Annes can help you get compensation for your damages through a claim against the landlord if you were injured at a property you were renting. These damages may include medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering,Duty of Care to Protect Tenants from Injury
In the interest of a tenant’s health and safety, landlords have a legal responsibility to keep their properties safe, livable, and hazard-free. An Arizona landlord has to meet specific standards according to state and local laws including keeping common areas free of hazards, providing air conditioning, functioning plumbing and safe electrical connections.
These responsibilities apply to landlords who rent long-term homes to tenants, those who rent vacation homes like Airbnb, and even property owners of mobile home parks.Was my landlord or property management negligent?
Landlords are negligent and can be held responsible for an injury claim when their behavior or inaction is the cause of the tenant’s injury, regardless of whether the damages they caused were intentional. It is the landlord’s responsibility to know the laws and to keep their properties up to the minimum standards to prevent personal injury.Rental Property Injuries: Hidden Dangers
Most structural threats are not necessarily visible upon first glance. Weak beams and rotting wood can make a roof prone to collapse. Similarly, a leaking roof, clogged gutters and missing shingles can leave homes vulnerable to water damage which can cause electrical fires and slip and falls.
Another danger hard to observe as a renter would be code violations on stairs. You might not notice that the treads are too short or the stairs are different heights. Conditions like this could cause a trip and fall with serious injury.
A reported 24,000 household electrical fires happen yearly. Older rental homes or rented mobile homes are more especially susceptible to dangerous electric fires. If the wiring has not been updated to meet modern code standards, it can lead to a dangerous situation for tenants, their family, and their pets.Rental Property Injuries: Foreseeable Accidents
A rental property or vacation rental landlord is responsible for dangers that a reasonable person would be able to predict. For example, a missing or loose handrail could clearly lead to a renter falling down the stairs and causing serious injuries. Landlords have a duty of care to protect their tenants and vacationers from these types of hazards by regularly inspecting their properties and fixing any issues that could create a foreseeable incident.Rental Property Injuries: Reducing Dangers and Hazards
Landlords can’t monitor their properties 24 hours a day, and there’s no way to anticipate freak accidents. However, they must take reasonable measures to reduce dangers to the tenants and visitors of their rentals. For instance, it’s clear that a burned out light bulb on the stairs invites falls, or that a loose floorboard could lead to a neck or back injury. The fix is inexpensive and the materials are accessible.Failing to Take Reasonable Steps to Prevent an Accident
If you believe that something in your rental home or property is a hazard, you should notify the landlord or property manager right away. This is best done in writing in case you need to later prove that you notified the landlord. It is then their responsibility to fix the issue within a reasonable time to prevent an injury, illness, or disaster.
In some cases, tenants can seek repairs on their own. If an emergency repair is necessary, you are required by most standard leases to notify the landlord in writing immediately. If the landlord fails to respond to your written notice within 10 days, you may be able to hire a licensed contractor to fix the issue. The repair has to be reasonably priced and can’t exceed a certain dollar amount. If you take this route, make sure to save and provide an itemized receipt to your landlord. You can deduct that amount from your rent payment.
However, we highly recommend that you review your lease before taking these actions, since the procedures involved vary from lease to lease. In most cases it is best to have the landlord fix the problem, after all it’s their duty according to the landlord-tenant agreement.Abels & Annes: Contact an Experienced Rental Property Injury Attorney
In the state of Arizona, an injured tenant has the right to seek compensation for any injuries or damages caused by a negligent landlord or property manager. If you or your family has been injured or is otherwise suffering due to a negligent landlord, Abels & Annes will help you to secure maximum compensation for the damages you and your family have endured.
To speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in Arizona, call us at 602-819-5191 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you and your family recover from the financial strain that a rental property injury or illness can cause.