When a pedestrian slips and falls, injuring themselves on your property, you could be held liable. But what happens when someone falls while on a property you’re renting? Who is at fault – you or your landlord?
You may think that as a tenant you’re off the hook because it’s the property owner who is responsible for keeping the property safe. The truth is, both “property owners and tenants (or “occupiers”) have a responsibility to ensure that pedestrians are safe when traversing their property,” Global News reports.
That means that if you’re a tenant, you’re not necessarily free from liability. Whether you or your landlord is liable will depend on the circumstances of the loss. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the following criteria are usually used to consider liability:
- Was the danger foreseeable?
- Was the homeowner [or tenant]’s conduct in accordance with acceptable standards of practice?
- Did the danger exist for an unreasonable amount of time?
- How easily could the danger have been prevented?
For example, since snow and ice can accumulate quickly and frequently, it may not be possible for a landlord to reasonably maintain accumulated snow and ice to keep the property safe for pedestrians, which is why the job may fall to the tenant instead.
Identify Hazards Around Your Home
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, “as a homeowner or tenant, you may be held liable for slips, trips and falls on your owned or rented property. Know what hazards to look out for, and understand your legal liability and what to do if someone is injured.”
While you might think slip and fall accidents are most likely to happen in the winter months, the reality is there are hazards all year round. In addition to ice and snow that can wreak havoc for pedestrians, the Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends that both homeowners and tenants be on the lookout for other hazards, including:
- Poor lighting
- Debris on your property like tree branches, or wet leaves that can become slippery
- Loose or missing handrails on stairs
- Wet or slippery floors
- Uneven surfaces and unexpected elevation changes like gaps, cracks or uneven pathways.
Provide Reasonable Standard of Care to Reduce Your Liability
To reduce your liability from slips and falls you must provide a reasonable standard of care to keep your property free of hazards, and to ensure that pedestrians, guests and other people who may use your property are safe. To do this, regular maintenance of a property is required. It’s important to keep records of any maintenance done on your property to help defend yourself against any potential liability claims or lawsuits.
Slip and Fall Lawyer
Have you been injured from a slip and fall? Has someone fallen and hurt themselves on a property you own or rent? If so, it’s important to discuss the circumstances with a legal professional as soon as possible. Contact the team at Zayouna Law to talk to an experienced slip and fall lawyer.
for a FREE consultation!