When are Landlords Liable for Personal Injury?

Unfortunately, too many landlords in Pennsylvania feel that their only responsibility is to collect rent from their tenants. Often times, dangerous conditions in rented premises go unresolved for weeks and months despite repeated protest from tenants. When an injury does occur to a guest or tenant, landlords often try to claim that it was the tenant’s duty to keep the premises in repair. While this is true in some circumstances, it often takes a thorough review of the lease and the course of conduct between the landlord and tenant by an experienced Montgomery County premises liability attorney to determine just who is responsible.

Generally speaking, a landlord “out of possession” is not liable for dangerous conditions that develop after the tenant takes possession. However, to the extent a landlord continues to exercise control over a portion of the premises (for instance a parking lot or common stairway) that landlord may still be liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions therein:

  • If the landlord knows about it but failed to repair it in a timely fashion
  • If the landlord should have known about it but failed to conduct reasonable inspections

No premises can be made completely safe at all times. Light bulbs burn out, water puddles, banisters become loose. However, landlords are expected to make a reasonable effort to stay on top of these problems in the areas over which they exercise control. The law seeks to encourage this by holding landlords responsible for ignoring reported maintenance problems or deliberately “sticking their heads in the sand” in order to avoid having to make repairs.

The law of landlord liability is complex and exceptions exist even for landlords out of possession. That is why you should always have your case promptly reviewed by an experienced Collegeville premises liability attorney. Our firm would be honored to represent you, so get in touch with Mayerson Injury Law, P.C. today.

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