Owning property in Atlanta carries many benefits, but along with those benefits come significant responsibilities. Landlords, property management companies, and other property owners owe a duty to keep their premises safe, and they may be held accountable for the results when they fail to fulfill that duty.
If you suffered an injury that could have been prevented if the owner of the property had lived up to their obligations, talk to an Atlanta landlord/property owner negligence lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a dedicated premises liability attorney may be able to help you pursue and obtain financial compensation.
Two Primary Areas of Concern
There are two main safety concerns that landlords should address before inviting others onto their property, and which they should continue to monitor any time they continue to have their property occupied by tenants or others. First, they should ensure that conditions are physically safe and that any hazards that are not repaired are marked sufficiently to warn others of the danger until they can be repaired.
Second, landlords have a duty to protect those on the property from foreseeable risk of harm due to criminal activity. Both these risks may qualify as evidence of unsafe living conditions if left unremedied, which in turn could a landlord or property owner liable if their tenant elects to sue for injury.
Laws Giving Rise to Liability
Official Code of Georgia §44-7-14 specifies that property owners are responsible for any injuries that occur due to “defective construction or for damages arising from the failure to keep the premises in repair.” In addition, when a property owner or manager invites other people to come onto the property, O.C.G.A. §51-3-1 establishes that the property owner or occupier is “liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”
So, under these laws, owners or occupiers of property must not only ensure that structures on their property are properly built and repaired, but also that they are kept free from hazards, including those at entrances and exits and other “approaches” to the property. An approach may be a sidewalk, or other property directly adjacent to the entry area.
Generally, it must be shown that a landlord or property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition in order to be held liable for negligence. If an Atlanta landlord/property owner negligence lawyer can prove on a plaintiff’s behalf that their dwelling’s management failed to maintain a safe property and environment, that plaintiff could recover damages for any injuries or losses they sustain as a result.
Types of Incidents for Which Landlords and Other Property Owners May Be Held Liable
When landlords fail to make required repairs or allow dangerous conditions to exist, they could be held liable for incidents such as:
- Falls due to a slippery substance left on the floor;
- A criminal attack in an unlighted hallway or parking lot;
- Tripping on a loose piece of flooring;
- Drowning due to an improperly fenced swimming pool;
- Injuries caused by falling merchandise in a store;
- A criminal attack enabled by a broken lock or absent security guard;
- Falls due to ice left on a sidewalk.
An experienced landlord/property owner negligence lawyer in Atlanta could evaluate the circumstances of your situation and determine whether they qualify as evidence of property negligence. You may be entitled to recover compensation to cover medical expenses, time lost from work, and other consequences such as pain and suffering.
Talking to an Atlanta Landlord/Property Owner Negligence Attorney
Landlords and other property owners should be held accountable when their failure to exercise ordinary care causes injury to a tenant or another person they have invited onto their property. In some cases, it is not the owner of the property but another person or company using or managing the property who may be held liable.
Either way, this is a complex area of law, so if you believe you were injured due to the negligence of your landlord or property manager, you have legal options available to you. Get in touch today with a knowledgeable Atlanta landlord/property owner negligence lawyer who could advise you of your rights and evaluate your claim for compensation.