Property Owner vs Tenant: Who is Liable if Someone is Injured?

The property owner vs. tenant relationship can get complicated, especially where an injury is involved. People often wonder where the liability falls in an injury case that occurs on a rented property. Is the tenant responsible for managing their own person and their own healthcare, or is the landlord responsible ensuring that the property is safe? The reality is that the responsibility falls somewhere in the middle. The landlord is responsible for maintaining the common areas of the space and disclosing known hazards, but outside of that, the liability usually falls with the tenant. Basically, if the tenant is injured due to a landlord’s negligence, then the landlord is liable. 

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that the landlord is painting a stairwell and leaves out his painting equipment in a way that it blocks a walking path. If a tenant trips and falls while trying to navigate around the painting equipment, the landlord will most likely be considered liable. In contrast, if a tenant is cooking for themselves and burns themselves on a burner, then they are responsible since they were not taking appropriate precautions. The landlord cannot be considered liable just because it is technically their stove. Providing an operational stove is not negligent. 

If you are injured on a rental property and are unsure about where the liability would fall, call us to discuss the details of your case. Our attorneys are well versed in the intricacies of these situations and can help you make decisions and can guide you through the legal process.

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