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How Premises Liability Applies to Home Renters

What is the responsibility of a renter, how is it different than the responsibilities of the landlord or property owner? It can be confusing to figure out if you have any responsibility at all for incidents on the property if it is not technically “your” property. If there is an accident on the property where you live, you should understand your role in premises liability and how your rights as a renter are affected. The principle of premises liability states that property owners are responsible for maintaining the safety of the property for anybody that enters the land. If they fail to do so and that results in someone sustaining injuries because of the owner’s negligence, a victim may be able to sue for compensation for any damages suffered.


Property Owner Liability

This applies to the tenants that the property owner leases to as well. The landlord has a legal obligation to maintain the safe conditions of the home and to take care of any conditions that may be considered unsafe. There can be major legal repercussions if the landlord fails to do so. However, the tenant does have some legal responsibilities. A landlord is responsible for conditions resulting from major neglect such as rotting walls or a crumbling foundation, but a tenant must maintain basic safe conditions like eliminating tripping hazards or maintaining cleanliness of the property. Any hazards a tenant causes is their responsibility as well, so they can be held liable if they fail to uphold those responsibilities.

The lease agreement may also hold clues to your amount of liability as a renter. Usually there will be a list of specific duties each party (landlord and renter) will be responsible for the duration of the lease. Make sure to be aware of the details of the lease before agreeing to them. Even as a renter, you may be liable for accidents on the property and face major repercussions.


Hire Legal Counsel

The concept of premises liability seems simple to explain but the execution can be complicated in practice. Especially if you are a renter on a property and a situation occurs that you don’t know if you are liable for, you must contact a personal injury lawyer at once. They can explain your role in premises liability and if you are going to be held responsible for someone’s injuries. The specific laws of your state of residence will be discussed and your lawyer will review the specifics of your case and lease to ensure they can protect your legal rights. A personal injury attorney could be your best asset against legal implications.


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