What Dangers Lurk at Rental Properties?
Rental properties require constant upkeep—usually more so than residences due to increased wear-and-tear from renters without a vested interest in taking care of the property. Rentals are also notorious for hidden issues. Renters often don’t report day-to-day nuisances to the owners or management, and small inconveniences can evolve into major issues if they go unresolved for weeks, months, or even years. Nevertheless, landlords are responsible for maintaining their property and ignorance is not a defense. Safety hazards constitute negligence on behalf of the owner or management company—or both.
Whether a property is used as a long-term or short-term rental, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a safe living environment. Dangers can be posed by failure to equip the house with standard safety measures or by deferred maintenance. Common rental dangers that are the responsibility of the owner and/or management company include:
- Water leaks
- Improper drainage
- Electrical shorts
- Broken/loose stairs and floorboards
- Broken or missing railings
- Uneven sidewalks/patios
- Faulty smoke or carbon monoxide alarms
- Dead or trees or tree limbs
- Toxic mold
If injury is sustained because of improper upkeep of a property, the owner and/or management company can be held negligent. To prove landlord negligence, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to review your case. Photographic documentation of the dangerous living condition along with witnesses and testimonials can go a long way in supporting your case and recovering damages for your injury.
Langsam Law is currently representing a client who was the victim of a slip-and-fall case at their vacation rental in the Hamptons. Pooling water caused mold growth on the deck, making it a slippery and dangerous surface. This situation could have been easily remediated by the property owner had they taken care to inspect the property between renters.