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Orange County Apartment Premises Liability Lawyers

Legal Representation for Apartment Injury Victims

If you have experience living in an apartment, you probably know that not all landlords rush to fix everything wrong with the apartment right away. Collecting your rent check on the due date will likely be given a much higher priority than fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a broken dishwasher.

In some cases, a landlord’s reluctance to make necessary repairs can create dangerous conditions in which tenants or visitors can get hurt. If you or your loved one has been injured because of a hazardous condition in an apartment, or an apartment building or complex, you may have a premises liability claim for compensation.

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What Is Negligence in Apartment Premises Liability?

Apartment landlords and property owners have a duty to maintain reasonable safety standards on their premises. When they fail to meet these standards to the extent that the property becomes hazardous to tenants and visitors, they may be considered negligent and liable for resulting injuries.

To win an apartment premises liability claim, your attorney must prove that your landlord was negligent. This can be accomplished by:

  • Investigating your accident to determine cause and liability
  • Thoroughly examining the building in question
  • Revealing past infractions in the same or other buildings owned by the landlord
  • Obtaining witness statements from other residents
  • Collecting pictures and videos showing that the property owner was aware of the hazardous condition and failed to remedy it

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When Is a Landlord Liable for Tenant Injuries?

Under certain conditions, an apartment property owner may be held liable for injuries that occur either before or after possession of the rental has been turned over to the tenant.

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Before Possession Is Given to the Tenant

Before a landlord turns over possession of a rental unit to a tenant, and upon renewing a lease, the landlord is required to conduct a reasonable inspection of the property for unsafe conditions. The landlord is then required to repair any unsafe conditions that were discovered or should have been discovered in the inspection. If the landlord fails to repair any obviously unsafe condition, and a tenant or visitor is injured as a result, the landlord can be held liable.

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After Possession Is Given to the Tenant

A landlord cannot be expected to be aware of and repair all unsafe conditions that develop after a tenant takes possession of an apartment. The landlord does not have the right to enter the premises without the tenant’s permission. Consequently, a landlord generally cannot be held liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on the premises that came into existence after the tenant took possession, except:

  • When the landlord had actual knowledge of the hazardous condition and the right to repair it; or
  • When the injury occurred in a common area of the apartment complex over which the landlord retains control (such as a hallway, stairs, or an elevator).

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What If the Landlord Turns Over Maintenance Duties to an Independent Contractor?

Property owners cannot escape liability for failing to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition by delegating to independent contractors. If the landlord hires an independent contractor to maintain an apartment complex, and the contractor fails to fix a broken stair railing, a tenant or visitor injured as a result can still sue the landlord for damages.

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What If You Signed a Waiver of Your Right to Hold the Landlord Liable?

Many apartment property owners put exculpatory clauses in their rental agreements, designed to absolve the landlord for injuries suffered by a tenant on the premises. Your lease may state in writing that you waive your right to hold the landlord liable. These clauses are not legal and not enforceable in California. If you have signed such a waiver as part of your rental agreement, you can still bring a claim against your landlord for any injuries you have suffered as a result of property owner negligence.

Our Orange County premises liability lawyers at Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie are well-versed in apartment premises liability matters. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation if you or your loved one has been injured because of apartment property owner negligence.

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Additional Information

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You were wonderful throughout my case. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the process so that I could feel comfortable. When I was hurt, I really did not know where to turn and Suzanne was comforting and knowledgable. Thanks again for all you did.

- H.P.

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After all, it's your needs we're fulfilling. If you want a great Orange County personal injury attorney who you can trust, contact Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie.

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Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie
4400 MacArthur Blvd Ste 370
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Toll Free: (888) 752-7474
Local: (949) 752-7474
Email: contactus@allenflatt.com

OC Apartment Accident Attorney Disclaimer: The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should formally consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Please be advised, however, contacting us, submitting a case to us, and/or discussing your case with us does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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