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Apartment and Rental Home Accidents

Many Seattle residents rent their apartments, condominiums, or houses. As the tenant, you expect the landlord will keep the common areas of the property, such as stairways and parking lots, in reasonably safe condition. Unfortunately, there are cases where the landlord’s negligence in this area leads to serious injury.

If a tenant or an invited guest is injured on a rental property, the landlord may be liable under Washington law. A qualified lawyer can review your case and advise you of your options. At the Emerald Law Group, we represent many clients who have sustained serious injuries in slip, trip, and fall accidents on improperly maintained rental properties.

Landlords and Condo Boards Must Keep Their Premises in Reasonably Safe Condition

The general rule in Washington is that any property owner has a duty to exercise ordinary care in keeping their property reasonably safe for visitors who have a legitimate reason to be on the premises. In the context of an apartment building, a landlord must keep all common areas reasonably free of potential safety hazards. For example, if a tenant or one of their invited guests falls trips and falls down a stairwell due to inadequate lighting–i.e., the landlord failed to replace a burned-out bulb–the victim would have a viable premises liability claim under Washington law.

Other common areas of an apartment or condominium building that need to be properly maintained include laundry rooms, clubhouses, parking garages or lots, lobbies, and entrances and exits. Basically, any area that is under the control of a landlord or condominium board carries an accompanying duty to keep the premises in reasonably safe condition.

In some cases, this duty of care may also extend into individual apartments or residential units. Generally speaking, the tenant assumes responsibility for their own safety within the lease premises. But a landlord can still be responsible for negligence arising from construction or maintenance. For instance, if you were injured inside of your apartment because the landlord failed to follow the building code, you may have a viable claim for damages.

At the same time, you should never assume that a landlord or condo board will accept responsibility for your accident. To the contrary, they are just as likely to try and shift the blame to you. Premises liability cases often turn on whether a specific hazard was “open and obvious” and whether the victim was paying proper attention to where they were going. There may also be cases where a third party may also be liable, such as a contractor who performed repairs on an apartment building or rental house. This is why it is critical to work with an attorney experienced in these matters.

Contact Emerald Law Group Today

Nobody should ever be made to feel unsafe in their own home–or even when visiting someone else’s home. But if you are seriously injured and believe that landlord or ownership negligence was to blame, it is best to consult with a skilled Seattle apartments and rental home lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Emerald Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation.

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