I was harmed at my apartment and my landlord says he is not liable for my injuries. What are my legal options in Los Angeles?

Your landlord may be liable for your injuries or may not be. It depends on the circumstances of your accident. Accidents in a rental house or apartment are not uncommon – most accidents occur in the home. Some common conditions that can lead to accidents involving injuries include slippery or hazardous floors, broken stairs or stair railings, broken or missing smoke or fire detectors, and missing gates around a pool, among others. If you rent a home, and you have an accident as a result of an unsafe condition, your landlord may be liable.  

Landlords have a duty to inspect any rental house or apartment prior to the lease to make sure the unit is reasonably safe from any dangerous conditions. If the landlord knows of a dangerous condition, the landlord has a duty to fix the condition or make the tenant aware of the condition. If the landlord knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the property and failed to fix it or disclose it to the tenant and the tenant or a guest of the tenant is harmed as a result, the landlord can be held liable.  

If a dangerous condition develops on the property during the lease, and the tenant reports it to the landlord, the landlord must repair it in a reasonable time. What is a reasonable time depends on how dangerous the condition is as well as other factors. The landlord must also keep the property in line with housing codes.  

Landlords are not responsible for all dangerous conditions at rental properties, however. If a condition develops during a lease that the landlord is not aware of, and the tenant does not tell the landlord and is later harmed, the landlord is not liable.

If you have been harmed by a dangerous condition at a rental property, you should speak to an attorney about your legal rights and options. If you are in Los Angeles, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles premises liability attorney at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.