Tenant Injured on your Property

Creative Commons License credit: Michael_L

You have just heard that a tenant has been injured on your property, are you liable? Well, it depends on the circumstances. The injury has to be related to something you did or failed to do to the property. A tenant tripping over their child’s toy in their unit is in no way your responsibility. But if your tenant trips over torn carpet in the common hallway and breaks an arm this could be your responsibility.

Obviously, it was your duty to repair and maintain the common area so this criterion has been met. If the carpet was just torn by another tenant, then you are not responsible as you could not have made the repair in a reasonable amount of time. But if it had been torn for a long time and you’d been notified of the issue, then you could be looking at some medical bills.

Now, a torn carpet isn’t necessarily a hazard and may not have caused a foreseeable injury. So, this must also be taken into consideration. Is the cause of the injury something that anyone would see was a hazard? A tear in the carpet near the wall is probably not something that could cause anyone to trip and fall, but a large tear in heavily traveled area could easily snag a toe or a heel and cause a fall.

It’s very important to have appropriate insurance in case your tenants do get injured or their property suffers some damage. It’s your responsibility to maintain your rental unit so it is safe for your tenants, but you are not automatically liable for every injury that occurs on your property.