Tenant Rights in Rental Property Injury Claims
When you rent a property from someone, you expect that the property will be delivered in a safe condition. However, sometimes property owners fail to fix defects on their property than can lead to injuries to their tenants or their tenants’ guests. Common causes of property defects that lead to injuries include dangerous staircases, uneven flooring, and water leaks among other issues. If you or a family member are injured in a rental property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Below are some common questions that injured tenants have regarding their claim.
CAN MY LANDLORD EVICT ME FOR BRINGING A CLAIM AGAINST THEM?
Though it is illegal in almost every state for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant for asserting their legal rights, unfortunately some landlords still attempt to evict tenants for filing injury claims. A tenant in this situation should be sure to review a copy of their lease and maintain an excellent record of all rent paid and complaints made to the landlord. A landlord should not harass you or intimidate you for bringing a claim. Keep all evidence of potential harassment.
HOW CAN I GET MY LANDLORD TO PAY FOR MY MEDICAL BILLS?
If you were injured on a rental property, your landlord may be on the hook to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If the landlord or property manager delivered the property in a dangerous condition or was negligent in maintaining the property, and the negligence or condition of the property caused the injury, then the landlord should be held responsible. Typically, landlords will carry insurance that covers the cost of injury claims. When signing a lease, be sure to ask the landlord whether they have insurance. If the landlord has insurance, once you notify the landlord that you were injured on the property, they’ll notify their insurance. However, if they refuse to do so, you may be forced to file a lawsuit to get the insurance information.
CAN I STOP PAYING RENT IF I’M INJURED IN MY RENTAL HOME?
Tenants cannot withhold rent simply for being injured, but in some cases, tenants may withhold rent to pay for repairs necessary to make the home safe then deduct the cost of repairs from their rent, otherwise referred to as “repair and deduct.” The landlord may initiate the eviction process though, so be prepared to be able to provide receipts for the repairs and pictures showing the condition of the premises both before and after the repair. In some states, the tenant may be required to provide notice to the landlord of the defect, so they have adequate time to make repairs.
If you have been injured at a rental property, consultant an attorney. Landlords should be making their properties safe for use and making valid claims against them helps hold them accountable and encourages safe repair and maintenance in the future. For a free consultation, please contact us.