Are California Landlords Liable for Slip and Fall Injuries?

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It can be confusing to understand who is responsible for slip and fall injuries that occur on rented property. Will the tenant be responsible for covering their own medical bills or paying compensation to someone injured in their home, or will the landlord be responsible?

Liability for a slip and fall injury will depend on the circumstances surrounding each particular situation. There are various situations where a landlord could be responsible and when a tenant could be responsible. If the incident occurred in Long Beach, our slip and fall attorneys can help you navigate the injury claim process. 

Landlord Responsibility Inside a Dwelling

There is an interesting relationship between landlords and tenants, particularly when it comes to injuries. Inside a rented dwelling, the ability of a landlord to keep up with day-to-day maintenance is limited by their relationship with the tenant and the lease agreement. The tenant has control over their dwelling, and they have a right to privacy. Landlords have to be made aware of any possible hazards inside a dwelling before they can be held responsible for failing to fix the hazard.

For example, if a tenant slips and falls on a hazard inside of their residence, but they never told the landlord about the slip and fall hazard and the landlord did not know about it from another source, then it is unlikely that the landlord will be held liable for this injury. If a third-party guest of the tenant sustains an injury in a slip and fall incident and the landlord did not know about the hazard, then the tenant will likely be the liable party.

However, if a landlord knew about a slip and fall hazard inside of a tenant’s residence and failed to remedy the hazard or place warning signs around the hazard, then they could certainly be held liable for any slip and fall entries that occur.

These incidents revolve around “knowledge” of the slip and fall hazard and steps taken to remedy the situation.

Landlord Responsibility in Common Areas

There are often common areas around rental spaces that tenants are responsible for. This can include apartment complexes and condos and even houses. These common areas can include pools, dog parks, grilling areas, fire pits, and more. Typically, lease agreements will specify that the landlord is responsible for the inspection and maintenance of these areas. If there is a slip and fall hazard that the landlord knew about in a common area, then they will likely be responsible for any slip and fall injuries that occur due to the hazard.

However, the key part of this process is that the landlord has to have known or reasonably should have known about the hazard in order to hold them responsible. For example, if a huge rainstorm blew in overnight and caused a slip and fall hazard, and an individual slips and falls first thing in the morning before the landlord has had a chance to get there and inspect or remedy the situation, it may not be possible to hold the landlord responsible for a slip and fall into it.

Work With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a slip and fall incident and are wondering whether or not the landlord can be held responsible, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, California. An attorney will typically offer a free evaluation of your claim and help you take the best steps moving forward.