Under federal and Georgia laws, all tenants—including those in low-income or Section 8 housing—have certain rights that cannot be legally violated. When tenants, guests, or others encouraged to come onto property suffer injury due to a landlord’s neglect, they may be entitled to recover compensation through an Atlanta low-income housing negligence lawsuit. Tenants may find resources to resolve disputes or other landlord issues in a variety of places, but it is also usually wise to seek guidance from an experienced lawyer as well.
State Law Imposes a Duty to Keep Properties in Atlanta Safe
Property owners and managers have a duty to keep their property safe for anyone who lives in or is invited to enter the property for any lawful purpose. When they fail to meet that duty and that failure results in injury, the property owner may be held liable under the Official Code of Georgia §51-3-1.
In legal terms, every landlord and property manager must “exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.” In other words, owners must repair or warn residents about dangerous conditions that they knew about or had constructive knowledge of. Constructive knowledge means the owner reasonably should have known about something if they made reasonable inspections of their property.
Providing Adequate Safety Measures
The duty to keep premises safe also extends to providing adequate safety measures and making necessary repairs. For instance, if a tenant asks a landlord to repair a broken window and the landlord fails to do so within a reasonable time, the landlord may be liable for harm resulting from that broken window. Whether that harm involves cuts from broken glass or a criminal entering the premises through the broken window, the landlord could be held responsible nonetheless.
The same may be true for harm suffered because of a property owner’s failure to replace a broken hallway light, even if the landlord is not specifically notified of the outage. It can be argued that reasonable inspections of the property would have revealed the issue, so the landlord should have known about and fixed the problem independent of any report from a tenant.
Finally, landlords may be held liable for the criminal actions of third parties in low-income and Section 8 housing under certain circumstances. If the property owner could have foreseen that criminal actions could occur but made no move to prevent them—for example, by installing fencing or security cameras—any residents who suffered damages from a criminal act could file Atlanta low-income housing negligence lawsuits.
Types of Incidents for Which a Landlord May Be Held Liable for Negligence
The area of law that allows tenants to hold landlords or other property owners liable for harm suffered on their property is known as premises liability. As noted above, property owners and managers of low-income and Section 8 housing owe a duty of care to keep their premises safe, and if they neglect that duty and cause harm to another person as a direct result, they may be sued for low-income property negligence.
This means that the owner may be required to pay compensation for the harm suffered. Recoverable damages could include compensation for medical bills, wages lost from work, and intangible consequences such as pain and suffering.
Landlords may specifically be held liable for situations such as:
- Failing to light a staircase or fix broken treads, which led to a fall;
- Failing to install fencing or lighting in a parking lot, which enabled an attacker to assault a tenant;
- Failing to clear ice from sidewalks, causing someone to slip and fall;
- Allowing mold to grow and cause illness;
- Failure to fix a broken lock, which allows someone to enter private property illegally.
Atlanta Low-Income Housing Negligence Lawsuits May Be Relevant to a Variety of Situations
Many situations in which someone suffers harm may be traced to the negligence of another person. When that negligent party is the owner of the property where the injured person lives, that owner may be required to pay compensation.
The facts of each situation are unique, but no matter what your circumstances are or where you live, you have rights that should be enforced at all times. For more information about Atlanta low-income housing negligence lawsuits, talk to a dedicated attorney with experience handling premises liability cases.