Yes, a landlord can be held liable for a tenant’s injuries. A landlord has a legal duty to make sure that a rental property is safe and habitable. If a landlord fails to keep an apartment and its surrounding premises in good condition by making necessary repairs, and a tenant is injured as a result, the landlord may be found to be liable for the tenant’s injuries.

These situations may occur when a landlord refuses to repair property structures such as a damaged step, leaking roof, or unstable floorboards, causing a tenant to be injured by a broken ankle, asthma from growing mold, or cuts from nails or splinters. Lead paint can also cause serious injuries that a landlord may be liable for.

If an injured tenant files a personal injury lawsuit against their landlord, they must show that their landlord was negligent by failing to provide a safe and habitable rental property. A tenant can show that their landlord was negligent by providing evidence in a personal injury claim.

This may include evidence that their landlord knew of a dangerous condition in the apartment but did not fix or repair the condition and the dangerous condition caused the tenant to be injured and the injury could have been prevented if the landlord had made the proper repairs.  

Is a Landlord Responsible for the Safety of Tenants on the Entire Rental Property?

While the specific duties of landlords vary by state, landlords may be responsible for the safety of tenants on the property outside of their apartments. Landlords may have a duty of care to repair and maintain common areas such as hallways, walkways, pools, gyms, stairways, parking areas, laundry or storage facilities, and mailrooms that are shared by tenants.

In these areas, landlords have a responsibility to warn tenants of dangerous conditions that are not obvious to tenants, such as loose brick on a walkway, or a malfunctioning washing machine in a laundry room. A landlord may also be responsible for injuries in common areas if the landlord made a faulty or negligent repair that resulted in a tenant’s injury.

When is a Landlord Liable for Another Tenant’s Actions?

A landlord may be held liable if a tenant’s actions cause an injury to another tenant. These situations are often limited to a landlord’s failure to enforce the provisions of the lease. For example, if a rental property is pet-free, and a tenant is allowed to keep a vicious dog despite complaints from other tenants, the landlord may be liable for an injury resulting from a dog bite to another tenant or child.

Landlords may also be held liable for the actions of tenants in common areas. Landlords should take care to keep common areas such as pools, gyms, and lawns safe from dangerous behavior that can cause other tenants to be injured.

What Types of Damages Can an Injured Tenant Sue a Landlord Over?

An injured tenant may be able to recover damages for a variety of expenses in a personal injury claim. Successful personal injury claims will compensate a tenant for the expenses resulting from their injuries including:

  • Medical bills;
  • Physical therapy treatment;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future income;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Property damage; and
  • Emotional distress, including the expenses associated with the treatment of anxiety and depression.

In most personal injury claims, more severe injuries result in higher compensation awards.

What Can a Landlord Do to Minimize their Liability for Being Sued in a Personal Injury Claim?

There are steps that a landlord can take to minimize their risk of being sued for a tenant’s injuries in a personal injury claim. A landlord should take steps to maintain the areas of the rental property that they are responsible for, including apartments and common areas.

Repairs should be made properly and quickly. A landlord should also be sure to enforce the lease terms for all tenants and post rules signs for common areas such as gyms and pools. Keeping maintenance and repair records is also a helpful step to take in reducing liability.

Should I Contact a Lawyer About a Landlord’s Liability to Their Tenant?

If you have been injured in your apartment or on your rental property, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your landlord on your own. Personal injury lawsuits and lawsuits involving landlord-tenant law can be complicated. If you’ve been injured on your rental property, consulting with a real estate attorney is in your best course of action.

An attorney can help you to determine if you can hold your landlord responsible for your injuries and can help you understand if your landlord was negligent in repairing and maintaining your rental property. An attorney will also be best able to make sure that you receive the compensation that you need to cover your injuries and damages