When people talk of landlord liability for tenant injuries, they mostly focus on injuries caused by dangerous infrastructure, such as damaged elevators and broken stairs. However, landlord liability extends to attacks caused by people or animals. Here are three examples of such attacks:
Attacks by Pets
Just because you have been bitten by an animal in your rented premises doesn't mean that the landlord is automatically liable for your injuries. Your landlord only becomes liable for your animal bite injuries if:
- The bite was caused by a violation on the landlord's part; for example if the landlord erected a short fence that couldn't keep wild dogs out of the premises.
- The bite was caused by an animal that the landlord was also taking care of.
- The bite was caused by a dangerous animal that the landlord shouldn't have allowed into the premises but did anyway.
Injuries Caused By Other Tenants
There are also cases when a landlord may be responsible for injuries caused by other tenants. This is usually the case if the injury or damage is caused by a tenant that the landlord should not have allowed onto the premises or should have evicted. Here are some examples of tenants that landlords shouldn't entertain:
- A tenant with a habit of picking fights with others whenever they are drunk
- A tenant who has been convicted of multiple violent crimes in the recent past
- A tenant who has threatened other tenants with assault
Attacks by Outside Criminals
The third example involves injuries caused by attackers from outside the premises, such as burglars. The landlord becomes liable for such injuries if they are caused by lapses in security or if the landlord aids (in anyway) the attacker's entry onto the premises.
For example, landlords are responsible for securing common areas such as hallways and elevators. This may include providing adequate lighting, installing CCTV cameras, or hiring security personnel. Just note that there are no universal security standards that landlords are expected to adhere to. If you are holding the landlord liable for your injuries based on inadequate security, then the court will have to determine whether the available securities measures were adequate or not.
Therefore, consult an injury lawyer at a law firm like the Eric J. Moore Company, Attorneys At Law if you have been injured in similar attacks. The lawyer's assessment will help you determine if you have a legal basis for your claim and advise you on the next steps to take.