There are very limited situations in which landlords in the state of Illinois are liable for injuries that take place on their properties. A landlord may be held liable for any injury sustained on the property, either by you or your guest, if it can be demonstrated that the injury was caused by landlord negligence, i.e. the failure of the landlord to properly maintain the property.
If you have been injured on your landlord’s property due to what appears to be negligence on the part of the landlord, we can help. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our Chicago premises liability lawyers have extensive experience helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve based on their injuries.
When Does Landlord Liability Exist?
If you currently rent an apartment, condominium, or a home, you may not fully aware of your rights in the event that you suffer a serious injury on your landlord’s property. In fact, you may have been told either by an insurance adjuster or your landlord that you don’t have much recourse in the wake of your injury. However, this is not always the case.
Something called landlord liability does exist, and it’s important for anyone who has been injured due to possible negligence of the landlord to understand their rights to pursue compensation. As a tenant, you should not fear eviction simply by exercising your rights to obtain rightful compensation for any losses you have incurred due to an injury caused by landlord negligence.
Landlord Liability Law in Illinois
Landlord liability is a subset of premises liability law in which the landlord is held responsible for injuries that are incurred by residents of the owner’s property as well as pedestrians who are injured on the property. Examples include an improperly maintained walkway, defective wiring in the apartment, or loose handrails on steps. These and other conditions resulting from landlord negligence of the property owner can give the injured the right to seek damages.
Landlords are legally responsible for ensuring that their tenants live in safe and secure conditions. To help ensure this, landlords are responsible for conducting regular checkups of the property in performing proper maintenance where necessary to accommodate reasonably safe living conditions. If these responsibilities are not met by the landlord, and a resident or guest is injured as a result, the landlord can be held to account.
Under Illinois law, landlords are not permitted to protect themselves from being sued by placing something in the rental or lease agreement that indemnifies themselves against the consequences of their negligence.
Landlords, however, are not liable for any dangerous conditions in a tenant’s apartment or on the property of the apartment complex that comes into existence subsequent to the tenant’s possession of the apartment or premises. If the tenant has caused a problematic condition that could lead to injury and it does – and if the tenant never reported the condition to the landlord or never repaired the condition on their own – the landlord is not responsible for any injury occurring due to this condition.
- Inspection – Prior to releasing the apartment unit to a potential tenant, the landlord has a responsibility to conduct an inspection of the unit to ensure it is safe to inhabit. The duty of the landlord during this inspection only extends to conditions that can be uncovered by a reasonable inspection.
- Safety of the Common Area – The landlord is also legally responsible for using appropriate care to help ensure the safety of tenants and guests by maintaining a reasonably safe condition for the “common area” (those areas under the control of the landlord).
- Protection from Assaults – Under certain scenarios, the landlord can be held responsible for any injuries suffered by a tenant or their guests as a result of an altercation with one or more other tenants. Landlords are obligated to take reasonable and safe precautions to help avoid or minimize the chances of an altercation occurring. As well, the landlord has a duty to protect its tenants from any reasonably conceivable third-party criminal assault. The landlord should take appropriate measures in advance to prevent such assaults on their tenants.
- Protection from Vicious Dogs – Landlords can be held responsible for attacks made by the dog of a tenant when that attack occurs against another person on the property if the landlord permitted the dog to be kept in the apartment and also had knowledge of the dog’s actual presence and nature – all of which must be approved by circumstantial evidence, and not conjecture or speculation.
Conditions Leading to Landlord Liability
Some of the conditions that a landlord may be held liable for in the event of one or more injuries occurring on their property include:
- The owner promises to correct a faulty or dangerous condition in the apartment unit, but fails to have the necessary work performed in a timely manner
- The owner (or representative of the owner) performs the repair work, but does so in a negligent manner
- The owner has broken a safety law
Get Help From Our Experienced Chicago Premises Liability Lawyers
If you have suffered an apartment-related injury due to landlord negligence, you may be experiencing significant physical, emotional and financial hardship due to the consequences of your injury. Our team at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is highly equipped and experienced to fight for your rights in the compensation to which you may be entitled. Allow us to help you move forward on the road to recovery.
Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 to set up a free, no-obligation case evaluation.