Landlord-Tenant Injury Claims
Landlords have special obligations to tenants under the Residential Landlord Tenant Act. The law requires that rental houses and apartment units be maintained in a habitable condition.
Habitability requirements cover a wide variety of conditions and mandate that:
- Electrical wiring is installed to code and maintained in good working order;
- Floors, walls and ceilings are structurally sound;
- Stairways and railings are maintained in good repair;
- No fire hazards are present and working smoke alarms are installed; and
- There are working locks for doors and latches for windows.
Other requirements include a waterproof roof and walls, a properly maintained heating system, and functional plumbing.
A tenant that is injured due to a landlords failure to comply with these requirements has a number of legal rights. These include the right to bring a claim without having to prove negligence in many cases. The tenant also may be entitled to recover attorney fees from the landlord. Under the law, a non-complying landlord has very limited defenses. These rights put a lot of pressure on the landlords insurance company to pay fair compensation for a tenants injuries.
Landlord-tenant injury claims often arise in the following circumstances:
- Fires caused by faulty electrical wiring or other unsafe conditions.
- Serious injury or death caused by failure to provide fire alarms or smoke detectors, or lack of a fire escape.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning caused by faulty furnaces, heaters, stoves or cooking equipment.
- Inadequate security that leads to assaults or other crimes committed against tenants.
- Broken or missing steps, handrails, stairs or railings causing slips, trips or falls.
- Structural failures in floors, walls or roofs.
- Children drowning in pools.
If you have been injured in a rental house or apartment unit, it is important to act quickly. Critical evidence can be lost if not preserved right away. Additionally, the law provides strict deadlines for bringing injury and insurance claims.
Attorney Rob Kline is experienced in pursuing landlord-tenant injury claims. Rob has educated younger lawyers about handling such claims. For additional information including more about the law, see DOING WELL BY DOING RIGHT: GETTING JUSTICE FOR INJURED CLIENTS UNDER THE RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD TENANT ACT AND GETTING PAID FOR YOUR WORK.
If you are in need of a tenant injury attorney, Rob Kline is available to discuss your legal rights. Call today or request a confidential, free case evaluation.