According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 31 million injuries occur to people throughout the United States each year. (Terry) Liability for the incidents is often disputed, which leads directly to personal injury claims and litigation. These injuries can be extremely costly. Sometimes injuries occur due to the negligence of others. If injured while shopping in a store, the store could possibly be liable. The same is true for a rental property. To be held responsible for an injury, the landlord or property manager must have been negligent in maintaining the property, and that negligence must have caused the injury. Maintaining the property begins prior to the tenant moving in and continues throughout the tenancy. A property owner can substantially reduce his liability if he promptly makes repairs, routinely inspects his property, and responds to reports made by his tenants.
Before leasing a property to a prospective tenant, the landlord has a duty to inspect the unit making sure it is reasonably safe from dangerous conditions. He is not required to take extraordinary measures or make unreasonable expenditures of time and money in trying to discover every potential hazard unless the circumstances justify it.
During the tenancy, the tenant is required to report any dangerous conditions that need repair. The landlord is required by law to make these repairs within a reasonable amount of time. For example, the tenant has a broken window and fails to report it to the landlord. His toddler cuts his hand requiring medical attention. The landlord is not liable. However, if the tenant reported the broken window and the landlord fails to repair it within a certain amount of time, the landlord is liable.
The landlord has a legal obligation to use due care for the safety of its tenants and their guests to keep the common areas in a safe condition. For example, the landlord leaves a water hose stretched across a sidewalk and a tenant...