Can I Sue a Landlord For Injuries?

Portrait of confused tenant and furious landlord with the unpaid bills in home

Yes. You can sue a landlord for injuries you sustain as a tenant or a visitor on his or her property. Landlords have a legal duty to keep their tenants safe by conducting regular inspections to detect and repair any unsafe amenities on their property.

How to Sue a Landlord for Negligence

One of the first things you should do after sustaining an injury is to contact the landlord. The landlord should then initiate claim proceedings with the insurance company. If the at-fault party or the insurance company refuses to cooperate, you can sue the landlord in a court of law.

To increase your chances of success when you sue a landlord for injuries, you need to prove the following:

Degree of Control

Landlords are legally obligated to maintain and repair their property to avert any potential danger to the tenants or anybody visiting it. The landlord is liable if he or she had some degree of control over the situation but didn’t act before someone got hurt.

 Knowledge of the Hazard

You must prove that the landlord knew of the hazard’s existence long before you got injured. Some tenants may have filed a complaint, or the caretaker notified the landlord of the tripping hazard. In some cases, the property owner is presumed to have prior knowledge because he or she is supposed to conduct regular inspections.

The Accident Was Foreseeable

You should also prove that the trip hazard or whatever caused your injury is something a regular person could have foreseen. An example is a loose balcony guardrail which the landlord should have repaired to prevent accidental falls. The landlord has no case to answer if you could judge that the area was unsafe but chose to proceed.

Failure to Act 

You must prove how the landlord failed to exercise reasonable standards of care to prevent tenants from being injured. This doesn’t necessarily mean the landlord should have taken drastic measures to avert the situation. the landlord should have acted in a manner similar to what another responsible landlord would in similar circumstances.

For instance, the landlord might have ignored a broken handrail on a regularly used staircase for months in full knowledge of the potential harm it might cause. Even if the defendant could not conduct quick repairs, he or she should have offered an alternative staircase to ensure tenant safety.

The Hazard Caused the Injury

You must clearly link your injuries to the potential hazard the landlord ignored for months or failed to repair despite knowing it might cause harm. Sustaining an injury on the staircase is not enough to prove that the loose handrail caused it. To link cause and effect, you must show how you held to the loose handrail, which gave way in full expectation that it was firm enough to hold your body weight.

Get a Personal Injury Lawyer

Knowing how to sue a landlord is not enough due to the complex nature of such cases. An attorney can offer legal advice, handle communication and negotiate the full compensation you deserve.