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Is my landlord liable for my injury?

Living in a rental is a nice option if you do not want to buy a home in New Jersey. Your landlord has many responsibilities when it comes to keeping your rental unit safe and habitable. You also have some responsibilities for keeping your home in good condition. However, despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes, things happen that lead to an injury.

If you or a guest suffers an injury on your rental property, you may have a liability claim against your landlord. It depends on the situation and circumstances. This can be a complicated area of law because many factors could influence a court’s ruling on liability.

General liability

It may help to know your landlord’s general responsibilities to protect you and your visitors. According to the New Jersey State Bar Association, your landlord must keep your rental unit and building in good condition. If your landlord knows about or should have known about a hazard that then leads to an injury, then he or she becomes liable for those injuries.

This liability includes all common areas if you live in an apartment building. It also may include areas within your home. The law says that any area under the landlord’s control is part of this responsibility. For example, if you notify your landlord of a safety issue within your apartment and she or he does not fix which then leads to an injury, then the court is likely to hold your landlord responsible.

On a side note, often for general injuries within your rental unit, you should have renter’s insurance to pay for injuries. The landlord would not be responsible, for example, if your child’s friend fell off his bed and broke his arm.

One of the benefits of renting is that your landlord is usually responsible for fixing issues. So, if your landlord does not live up to his or her responsibility to provide you a safe home, it could become a liability issue.