Who Is Responsible for Injuries on Rental Properties? Landlords vs. Tenants

Personal Injury On Thursday, July 27, 2023

When living on or visiting a rental property – including an apartment, home or short-term rental such as an Airbnb – you could suffer serious injuries in a preventable accident due to someone else’s negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care. Negligent property owners in Connecticut may not take proper care of their rentals, resulting in serious injury risks. Understanding liability in these accident cases can help you seek the compensation that you deserve.

Landlord Legal Responsibilities in Connecticut

A landlord is someone who owns a building, apartment or land and rents it to tenants. In exchange for rent or lease payments, a landlord is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the property. Landlord responsibilities in Connecticut include:

  • Providing a clean rental space when the tenant moves in.
  • Cleaning and maintaining common areas on the property.
  • Frequently inspecting the property for new or hidden hazards.
  • Repairing any known or discovered defects in a timely manner.
  • Responding promptly to tenant complaints or maintenance requests.
  • Keeping hallways and entryways properly lighted.
  • Ensuring working plumbing and heating systems.
  • Providing working locks on the doors of the unit.
  • Arranging extermination services if the unit is infested with insects or pests.
  • Taking steps to prevent slip and fall accidents in New Haven caused by an accumulation of ice or snow.

Landlords are responsible for all common spaces on a rental property, such as the grounds, stairways, shared laundry rooms, patios, entryways, hallways and parking lots. However, a tenant is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of his or her individual rental unit.

When Are Landlords Liable for Injuries on Rental Properties?

If a harmful accident takes place on a rented property, the landlord could be held legally and financially responsible (liable) if the hazard is traced back to property maintenance, use or control issues. If the landlord was negligent, meaning he or she did not act in a way that a reasonably prudent landowner would have, he or she can be held liable for related tenant or lawful visitor injuries.

Landlord negligence may mean the failure to properly maintain common areas, such as allowing the property to fall into a dangerous state of disrepair. It may also mean ignoring known property hazards and defects, such as failing to respond to a safety complaint made by a tenant. Allowing unsafe or unhealthy conditions to persist on a rental property could lead to landlord liability for a related visitor or tenant injury.

When Can a Tenant Be Held Liable for an Injury on a Rental Property?

Landlords are not exclusively held liable for every incident that takes place on a rental property, however. While they are responsible for maintaining common areas, they do not have a duty to ensure the safety of individual rental units. This duty of care goes to the tenant or renter who occupies and controls the private unit. 

If an injury is caused by a dangerous condition within a unit that the tenant reasonably should have prevented or repaired, the individual renter could be held responsible. In this scenario, his or her renter’s insurance may provide coverage for a victim’s costs. 

Injured on Rented Property? Hire a Premises Liability Attorney for Help 

Premises liability claims involving rented properties in Connecticut can be complicated. When a victim can file a claim against a landlord vs. a tenant depends on the circumstances, including who was in charge of maintaining and controlling the property at the time and whether that party was guilty of negligence.

A New Haven injury attorney from Loughlin & FitzGerald, P.C. can help you understand your rights after a harmful accident that occurs on a rental property. We can investigate your accident to determine fault and prepare you for the claims process ahead. Request a free case evaluation at (203) 902-4504 to learn more.

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