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When property improvements could lead to premises liability

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Not all landlords make proper investments in their properties. Some can go so long without performing upgrades and maintenance that the electrical wiring in their buildings becomes dangerous or their roofs leak every time it rains. Such inadequate maintenance can lead to tenants getting hurt or suffering property damage, possibly leading to claims against the landlord or their insurance policy.

Landlords who do maintain their properties can usually charge higher rents. Whatever costs they incur through maintenance, they likely pass on to their tenants. They also directly benefit from keeping their property in good condition, as it limits their premises liability.

A property in poor condition could make it easier for someone to claim the landlord was negligent in their maintenance of the property, making them responsible for the injuries people suffered. However, there are situations in which repairs or routine maintenance of an apartment building could leave a landlord liable for the injuries that result.

Cement from outdoor repairs can be a significant hazard

Fixing a section of sidewalk, patching a soft spot in the foundation or even making improvements to the parking lot could all require cement. Durable and affordable, cement is a great material for rental properties.

Unfortunately, those who work with cement don’t always handle it with the respect it deserves. A pile of unused cement scraped off to the side may harden into a lump, creating a risk for pedestrians, bicyclists and even vehicles. Landlords could find themselves facing premises liability claims if someone trips over a dried pile of cement, falls off their bike when they hit it or damages their vehicle by driving over it.

Supplies or tools left behind can become hazards, too

Anything from lumber to piping could be dangerous if it falls on someone. Nails and glass can also present a risk of injury around a project site. Machinery and equipment used for big projects on an apartment building come with the risk of malfunctions or even electrical supply wires that could lead to someone tripping and falling.

When construction or maintenance professionals don’t secure materials and equipment appropriately and when landlords don’t notify tenants about the work on the building, serious accidents could occur. Landlords may have premises liability for visitor and resident injuries that happen due to remodeling work and maintenance, just like they are responsible for injuries due to inadequate maintenance.

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