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When Can I Sue My Landlord For an Injury?

Do you rent or lease an apartment, house, or home in California? If so, you have certain rights as a tenant under the law. Thanks to these rights, you might be able to hold your landlord responsible if you get hurt in your own home or in a common area of your housing complex.

You Have an Implied Warranty of Habitability

When you rent a home in California, you’re granted an implied warranty of habitability. An implied warranty of habitability means that your home has to be in a livable condition. Simply put, your landlord has to provide you with a space that’s reasonably safe and free from dangers.

In California, landlords must ensure that your home has:

  • Effective waterproofing and weather protection, including unbroken doors and windows
  • Plumbing or gas systems that conform to applicable laws that are in good working condition
  • A heating system in good working order
  • Electric that’s installed properly and in good working order
  • Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair, and
  • Trash and garbage receptacles that are clean and accessible.

Your home also has to be “clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.”

If your landlord breaches this implied warranty of habitability, you have certain protections under the law. If you get hurt because your landlord didn’t comply with the law, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

What Types of Injuries or Hazards Might Support a Lawsuit?

Do you believe that you’ve gotten hurt or sick because your landlord was negligent? Did the conditions of the home or premises you’re renting contribute to your injury? You might be entitled to compensation. Here are a few examples of circumstances that may warrant an injury lawsuit:

  • You suffer an electric shock because the wiring in your home isn’t up to code.
  • You fall because the stairs in your apartment building are broken.
  • Your child gets sick because of the mold in your apartment.
  • You’re attacked by a dangerous dog that the landlord knew lived on the premises.

Your landlord has a responsibility to keep the premises is a safe, habitable condition for you. Failure to do so might cause them to be liable if you get hurt.

Landlords Have to Keep You Safe From Known Threats of Violence

In California, landlords don’t just have to protect you from mold or falls. They also have to protect you from reasonably foreseeable threats of violence from a third party. In other words, if the landlord knows that crime is common in the area, or if the building has been the home to violent fights in the past, they have a responsibility to protect you from future threats.

How? Installing reasonably safety measures. This might include installing security cameras, hiring a security guard, or simply installing heavy-duty locks that can only be opened by tenants. If you get hurt because the landlord had inadequate safety measures in place, they might be liable for your injuries.

Have you been hurt because of your landlord’s negligence? Call Glotzer & Leib, LLP today for a free consultation.

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