Typically, when an individual sustains an injury due to the careless or negligent actions of a property owner, they will be able to recover compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. However, this can get a little murky when it comes to tenants and landlords. The question of who is ultimately responsible for the premises comes down to various factors, including whether or not the renter was in complete control of the area, whether or not the landlord knew about a hazardous condition, and whether or not the injury took place in a “common area” on the property.
Here, we want to discuss whether or not you can file a claim against your landlord for a premises liability claim. Speak to a premises liability lawyer in Southfield to learn more!
Did The Landlord Know About the Hazard?
Even though all property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of their premises, the situation changes when a person rents out the property and the renter becomes responsible for the day-to-day safety of their own area. It would not be reasonable to expect a landlord to know about everything that goes on inside of a place that they rent out, so a landlord may not always be held responsible if an injury occurs on the premises that they own.
When determining whether or not a landlord could be held responsible through a premises liability lawsuit, one of the following will need to be established:
- That they caused the dangerous condition on the premises
- That they were notified about the dangerous condition and failed to remedy the situation
- That they should have known about the dangerous condition on the premises
Suppose for a moment that something happens inside of an apartment due to a dangerous condition, but the landlord was never notified about the dangerous condition. In most situations, individuals would be unable to prove that the landlord was negligent in this case, and they may have to turn to the renter’s insurance to recover compensation.
Injuries on Common Areas of the Premises
There are various situations where a landlord could be held responsible for a premises liability incident. This is particularly true for injuries that occur in common areas around the premises. Turning back to the apartment example, there are typically several common areas that are available, including dog walking areas, pools, clubhouses, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. Usually, these areas are solely the responsibility of the landlord to maintain. If stairs are broken around a pool area, and they remain unfixed for a period of time after the landlord has been notified, then they will typically be held responsible for any injuries that occur.
Speak to an injury attorney in Southfield to learn more.
What About Commercial Establishments?
The landlord-tenant arrangement does not happen only in homes or apartment complexes. This is typically how most businesses operate as well. For example, a grocery store usually does not own the building where they are located. Usually, grocery stores lease the area from a landlord.
If an injury occurs on premises leased by another company, then it will be necessary to look at the language of the contract between the landlord and the tenant to determine who bears responsibility. For example, it could get complex, depending on where the injury occurred. In some cases, liability for injuries in a parking lot may fall to one company, while liability for injuries that occur inside of a building could fall to an entirely different company.