In some situations, it is the tenant and landlord that are held responsible in a premises liability lawsuit involving an injured defendant. For instance, if a customer is injured in a store within a mall, then the owner of the store is the tenant and the mall is owned by a separate landlord. Another example would be a friend visiting a friend’s apartment. Generally, it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide the tenant and visitors with safe conditions. If you’ve been injured on a property owned or occupied by a tenant or landlord, contact the lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates in New York, NY to schedule a consultation.
If a tenant invites visitors over, the landlord is just as responsible for the safety of the visitor as the tenant. In a lot of states, the landlord is responsible for providing ordinary care, so that common areas are kept in safe condition to be used for their intended purpose. Common areas are those that are used by more than one tenant, like a sidewalk, parking lot, steps or hallway. If the landlord is in control over the common area, then he or she could be held liable for any injuries that happen there.
If a landlord leases a property to a tenant that has a dangerous condition, then he or she is held liable for any injuries that occur due to the dangerous condition. Every state is different, but in some, the tenant’s social guests are considered invitees or licensees, when it comes to the landlord. As the landlord, he or she is required to provide ordinary care to property areas that he or she retains control of, including common stairways, entries and hallways.
If a plaintiff brings a premises liability lawsuit against a landlord because he or she has failed to repair a defective or broken condition, it’s required of the plaintiff to prove that the landlord knew or should have known of the condition, and he or she had ample time to repair the condition. Without the ability to prove actual or constructive notice, the plaintiff won’t be able to prove that the landlord acted negligently.
In most cases, the landlord isn’t responsible for protecting tenants or their visitors or employees from third party criminal attacks that occur on the landlord’s property. In some states, it is recognized that some tenants and landlords have a special relationship, which requires the landlord to take reasonable steps to protect tenants from foreseeable third party criminal activities.
Public purpose exception: When a property is leased out for the purpose that is public or semipublic, and the property is unsafe for that intended purpose and the landlord knows or should know, the landlord is held liable for any injuries that occur from that unsafe condition. The public purpose exception isn’t applicable if the landlord believed that the condition was going to be fixed before the business customers were allowed onto the property by the tenant or if the property was in a safe condition when it was leased out and the tenant was the one responsible for the maintenance and repair of the property according to the terms of the signed lease.
The landlord is not liable for a tenant’s torts, the tenant is the one held liable for injuries that take place on a premises that are due to the actions of the tenant. If the dangerous or defective condition was caused by the tenant and it lead to a visitor getting injured, then the landlord is not the one liable for the injuries. The tenant is held responsible for the injuries due to the negligence of the tenant, such as not making repairs, keeping floors clean of obstacles and not providing efficient lighting.
It is also the responsibility of the tenant if injuries occur due to defects in areas that are in control of the tenant, not the landlord. For instance, if the land is owned by the landlord and leases it out to a tenant who then constructs a house or building on the land, and then a person is injured due to a defect in the building’s structure, the tenant is the one that’s liable for the individual’s injuries.
Call a Premises Liability Attorney
When you are injured on a property that is owned by a tenant and landlord, you can open a case against both. To find out if your case should be opened against the tenant and/or landlord, you should speak with a premises liability attorney at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates in New York, NY today.