Prospective tenants often visit and assess the potential apartment units and the surrounding communities before committing to any option. They often commit to a property only if it seems well-maintained and safe — yet looks can easily deceive.
Rental companies and landlords often put their best foot forward, not wanting to show the flaws that lurk underneath. You may find some solace in knowing that you may be able to hold a landlord who fails to protect your safety accountable for their actions if you get hurt.
Your landlord’s obligation to protect your safety
Many savvy renters know that business owners are required to take reasonable precautions to keep their premises safe.
If you have ever wondered why a landlord performs a background check on everyone planning to live in one of their units, it’s to protect their investment as well as the safety of residents and visitors. Many landlords tend to believe that they can minimize crime on their premises by being selective about who they allow in as tenants. Some landlords even draft their rental agreements requiring their tenants to notify them of their criminal conviction and immediately evict once this happens.
Many landlords automatically change the locks on their unit’s doors between tenants to reduce someone’s chances of engaging in a crime. Some jurisdictions may even have statutes on the books requiring them to do so.
Every landlord should be proactive in trimming hedges, installing security cameras or providing adequate lighting along poorly lit alleyways or parking lots where criminals may see it opportune to lay in wait in anticipation of committing a crime. They must also fix or fill in any potential tripping hazards such as uneven pavement or potholes that may unnecessarily cause a tenant or visitor’s injuries.
Your right to hold your landlord accountable
While many landlords are honest and run efficient operations, countless others ignore potential safety issues or are haphazard in fixing them. Tenants and their visitors may suffer serious injuries when their landlord doesn’t take the necessary precautions to protect their safety.
Fortunately, Ohio law allows you to recover compensation when landlords drop the ball. If you’ve been injured, speak with an attorney about your options to hold the negligent party or parties liable.