Landlords are responsible for keeping their rental properties safe for their tenants. In this blog post, we will discuss when a landlord can he held liable for injuries sustained on their property.
Landlords have the legal duty to keep their rental properties in reasonably safe and habitable condition. A tenant must comply with the terms of his or her lease, and cannot stop paying rent simply because there is an unsafe condition. The landlord has the right to try to fix any problems on the premises before a tenant can break a lease.
If a tenant is physically injured, he or she will need to prove that the injury was caused by the landlord's negligence, and that the landlord had adequate notice of the problem and reasonable time in which to correct it. The tenant has the burden of proving negligence on the part of a landlord. Therefore it is important to document the issue you're having with your rental property. Keep copies of all email communication you may have with your landlord regarding the matter, and write down any oral conversations you have. Most importantly, take pictures. If possible, date stamp all pictures you take. If you are not able to date stamp, find something with the current date, like a newspaper, and make sure the date is displayed clearly in the photograph.
There are laws in place meant to protect the public. If a landlord violates this law, then he or she can automatically be found negligent. This system is called negligence per se. An example of negligence per se on the part of a landlord is if the landlord fails to install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in a rental property. Per Illinois law, all residential property must be equipped with these alarms. If you were injured because these devices were not installed, or improperly installed, whether or not your landlord acted reasonable does not matter.
For more information regarding your rights following an injury on rental property, contact an experienced Chicago premises liability attorney from Nemeroff Law Offices at (312) 629-8800 to schedule a consultation.