Rental property claims

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
Landlords, like other property and business owners, are responsible for taking all reasonable steps to protect their tenants from danger. In most jurisdictions, landlords are obliged to adhere to local health and safety laws. If a tenant observes a potential hazard, this should immediately be reported to the landlord, who must take prompt action to prevent an accident. If a landlord fails to take the necessary action to remove the danger and someone is subsequently injured, the landlord can be found to be negligent and held liable for damages. Some landlords provide rental contracts containing limitations to the landlord's responsibility for maintaining a safe environment. Such contracts may not stand up in court, since they may contravene (con-trah-VEEN) state law. Visitors to a rented property can also file suit against a landlord or property owner in a case of injury on the property caused by negligence or a failure to maintain a reasonably safe environment. Normally, it's the landlord's responsibility to maintain all common and public access areas in good and safe condition. Tenants are generally not responsible for property maintenance and aren't liable for any accidents that may occur.

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