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Our Fort Lauderdale Apartment Slip and Fall Attorneys Hold Landlords Responsible

If you rent an apartment, you know you have an obligation to pay rent on time and you know what happens if you fail to meet that obligation. But do you know your landlord’s obligations? The laws specify certain duties that landlords owe to tenants. Additionally, the law also imposes other obligations to protect the safety of people visiting the property. When the property owner or manager fails to take care of the premises like they’re supposed to and someone is injured as a result, the landlord can be held liable and required to pay compensation. Below, our apartment building slip and fall lawyer explains the landlord’s responsibilities under the law.

Premises Liability in Florida Apartment Complexes

All property owners, including apartment landlords, owe a certain duty of care to people they invite or allow onto their property. They owe a duty to protect them from dangerous conditions. When they don’t take the proper precautions, they can be required to pay damages for any injuries that result. This concept is referred to by slip and fall attorneys as premises liability.

However, the duty to protect is not absolute. Landlords cannot reasonably be expected to protect everyone from every potential hazard that could cause them to trip and fall. Generally speaking, the landlord must have known about the danger or have been reasonably expected to know about the danger. Additionally, the hazardous condition must have existed long enough to give the landlord time to take action to address it. 

For instance, if an accident victim can prove that others reported the condition to the building manager months ago, that shows that the landlord had knowledge of the hazardous condition and time to remedy the situation. In some cases, just proving that a danger existed for a long enough period of time satisfies this requirement because property owners have a duty to periodically inspect the premises for problems.

Statutory Obligations of a Landlord

Florida landlord and tenant law is quite specific about a landlord’s duties. Among other things, Florida Statute 83.51, requires landlords to:

  • Obey rules in all applicable building, housing, and health codes
  • Maintain structural components of the building in good repair
  • Keep common areas clean and safe
  • Remove trash

If a landlord fails to comply with these requirements, a tenant may have the right to various forms of relief. When failure to comply causes a slip and fall injury, evidence of the breach of duty could help a competent apartment building slip and fall lawyer prove negligence and recover compensation for the victim. A landlord’s obligations cover not only the buildings but also associated property such as parking lots and walkways.

Questions to Consider in an Apartment Slip and Fall Case

In many slip and fall cases, the conduct of the landlord is compared with a “reasonable” property owner to see if they behaved responsibly or negligently. A reasonable property owner would be one who takes action to fix a dangerous condition or warn people on the premises of the hazard if the owner knew or should have known about it.

To determine whether a landlord was negligent, a slip and fall attorney might consider:

  • How long the dangerous condition existed
  • Whether a warning sign or barricade would have reduced the chance of harm
  • Whether the fall occurred in an area where tenants or visitors were not reasonably expected to be
  • Whether the dangerous condition existed for a legitimate purpose and it if could have been made safer
  • Whether the landlord had a plan for regular property inspections and proof that they were carried out
  • Whether the dangerous condition was caused by the tenant who was injured or their guest

Under Florida’s comparative fault rule, if the tenant is harmed by a condition that is partially their own fault and partially the landlord’s fault, the tenant may still be able to recover compensation, but the amount will be reduced to account for their own share of liability.

An Apartment Building Slip and Fall Lawyer Can Help You Recover After an Accident 

If a dangerous condition caused harm in a common area or individual apartment in your apartment building, you were not the only one at risk. By taking action to hold your landlord accountable, you not only can recover fair compensation to put your life back on track, but you can also make your apartment building safer for others in the future. Landlords must live up to their obligations.

An apartment building slip and fall lawyer at the Maus Law Firm can review the circumstances of your case and explain your options for recovery. For a free consultation, contact our office today.

 

 

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