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Liability for Tenant Injuries and Insurance for Landlords

Landlords are responsible for tenant injuries in the rental property's common areas. Landlords are business owners, so they should prepare for tenant injuries. A solid property insurance policy will help them if anyone gets hurt due to their negligence. Landlords need a separate policy for any property they rent out; a homeowners insurance policy is insufficient.

This article will explore common issues related to landlord liability for a tenant's injuries and landlord liability insurance.

Landlords Have a Duty To Keep Their Premises Safe

A landlord or property owner must keep their premises safe. They have a duty to their tenants and visitors. This duty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Keep common areas, like the lobby and stairwells, clean and free of debris
  • Advise tenants and visitors of any dangers, such as a broken step
  • Provide a habitable rental unit for the tenant

Landlords Are Often Liable for Tenant Injuries

If the landlord's negligence caused the injury, the landlord is liable for tenant injuries. Imagine that a landlord did not clean up a spill in the lobby. A tenant slipped and fell, breaking their hip. The landlord is likely liable for the tenant's injuries since the injury directly results from the landlord's negligence. The landlord's property insurance policy should cover the tenant's medical expenses and possible damages.

Landlord Liability for Visitor Injuries

Landlords are only liable for visitor injuries caused by their negligence on the rental property. They are not responsible for injuries inside the renter's home. Renters should have renter's insurance that covers accidents in their rental units.

Proving Liability

To hold the landlord liable, the tenant must prove the following:

  • Duty: The landlord had a duty to fix the dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Breach: The landlord failed to meet their duty to address the dangerous condition.
  • Causation: The cause of the injury was the failure to repair the dangerous condition, and the landlord's negligence directly and foreseeably caused the injury.
  • Damages: Injuries (damages) resulted from the landlord's behavior.

Landlord Insurance Policies

Insurance aims to give the insured peace of mind for unforeseen challenges and resulting financial losses. There are different types of insurance policies available to most landlords. These different types include the following:

Additional Liability Coverage

Landlords and property owners can get additional coverage to create a robust insurance policy. Landlords should consult with their insurance agent or insurance provider for an insurance quote that ensures they have the best possible insurance coverage. Although this may raise their insurance premiums and deductibles, failure to do so can result in steep financial losses.

Landlords can customize their insurance policies for their specific needs. A few different types of coverage landlords and property owners should consider include the following:

  • Personal injury
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Wrongful eviction
  • Vandalism
  • Bodily injuries
  • Rental income loss
  • Legal fees

Please note landlord insurance covers losses related to the building, not a tenant's rental unit. Tenants should have a renter's insurance policy to cover losses in their units. Personal belongings are one example of a covered loss under a renter's insurance policy.

What Kind of Damages Can a Tenant Receive From a Landlord?

If a landlord is liable for injuries, a tenant can sue for:

  • Medical bills (present and future)
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Emotional distress

Get Legal Help

Whether you are an injured tenant or a landlord facing a potential lawsuit, a landlord-tenant attorney can help. Landlord-tenant attorneys are experts in landlord-tenant law and can advise landlords on liability coverage. They can also help tenants determine if they have a lawsuit. Speak to a landlord-tenant attorney today.

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