Goodkin & Lynch, LLP

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How can you protect your interests as a landlord?

California landlords know there are many regulations they must follow in order to protect the rights, safety and interests of their tenants. Whether you are a commercial property owner or you own residential rental property, it is for your own benefit to know how to protect yourself from the fallout that comes with tenant injuries. This will limit your exposure to litigation and legal complications that can cost you time and money in the future. 

It may be beneficial for you to learn about what happens if a tenant suffers an injury on your property. It is often not clear who is to blame for an accident, but there are times during which the injured party could move forward with legal action against you. You need to know your duties to your tenants as well as how to fight back when faced with the threat of legal action. 

What are your duties to your tenants? 

Landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants. Failure to take the following actions will not only increase the chance of an accident, but it can also increase the chance of a civil claim against you:

  • Keep common areas maintained and free from any unnecessary hazards.
  • Warn tenants about potential hazards and make sure potential dangers are clearly marked.
  • Make all furnished spaces clean and safe for tenants. 

You may be liable for injuries and harm caused to a tenant if he or she can prove that you knew about the hazard and had a reasonable amount of time to fix it but did not. Cases involving landlord negligence are complex, and it is costly and stressful to defend yourself. A smart practice for you is to evaluate your insurance coverage, inspect your properties on a regular basis and make it a practice to address potential problems promptly and efficiently.

Through adequate risk management measures, you can save yourself from various types of complications that can arise from injured tenants. In addition to making sure you have the right insurance coverage, it is worthwhile to understand the various other steps you can take to limit your risks.

An explanation of your options

As a landlord, it is beneficial to protect yourself against the chance of litigation, no matter what type of property you own and rent. To learn more about how you can prevent disputes that can lead to unexpected costs and financial losses, it might be helpful to start with a complete assessment of your risk management needs.

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