Renter & Landlord Liability
Slip and Fall Accidents on Rented Properties
There's nothing easy or simple about a slip and fall accident. If you've fallen at someone's home, you know exactly who's responsible for the land and property. However, if you fall at someone's rented property, things can become complicated very quickly.
Keeping the property safe is the responsibility of the landlords and property managers. If walkways need repair, snow needs to be shoveled, or any other hazards become evident, the landlord is generally required to handle these issues in a timely manner.
However, in some instances tenants and renters can be held accountable for the safety of the properties they rent. Because they've consented to signing a lease, there may be terms that require renters to clear the walkways of any hazards.
Who Shovels the Snow on Our Walkway?
We hear time and again from renters and landlords alike, because they are confused about who's responsible for snow and ice removal. Generally, it depends on the living circumstances. If you rent a house, you may or may not be responsible for the snow removal. If you live in an apartment building, you're less likely to be the one shoveling the snow.
- Home Rentals – Check your lease, but – more often than not – the tenants will be responsible for clearing snow and ice according to municipal laws. Unless your landlord has expressly stated that you're NOT responsible, assume that it's your job to keep the property safe.
- Apartment Complex Renters – Typically there is a property manager that coordinates snow removal for apartment complexes and buildings. Double check your rental agreement to make sure that you're not held liable for snow removal.
- Retirement Communities/Managed Properties – Again, it should be stated in your lease or rental agreement. More often than not, these communities provide snow removal as part of your rental price.
- Townhouse Owners/Renters – Check with your homeowners association, because many townhouse units have private and shared areas. The tenants are most likely responsible for snow removal along sidewalks and pathways that lead to their doors, but might not be responsible for parking lot snow and ice.
What to Know About Code Violations
Snow and ice aren't the only dangers that lead to slip and fall accidents. Be on the lookout for the following hazards:
- Crumbling, unsafe stairs and handrails
- Unmarked construction areas
- Unlit pathways or stairwells
- Unmarked slippery lobbies and floors
- Uneven curbs and walkways
- Slippery entrances without weather mats
- Downspouts that pool water and create ice patches
- And more examples of code violations
Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident? Know What to Do
If you're ever injured on a rented property, know exactly what to do in order to protect your rights. Find out more at our after a slip and fall accident webpage that teaches you what to do in the event of a fall. Always be sure to seek medical attention and collect evidence if you're able.
Insurance companies may try to deny your claim or offer you a lowball settlement. Don't let them leave you holding the bills. We can help you stand up to them, and we'll fight to get you the compensation – and peace of mind – that you deserve.
We're available any time, so call us for a free legal consultation. Our legal professionals are standing by to help.