Property Managers and Premises Liability in New Jersey

When a tenant rents an apartment, home, or business property from a landlord or property manager, they expect to stay safe on the premises.

Property Managers and Premises Liability in New JerseyUnfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and accidents happen. When a tenant is injured due to the negligence of a property manager to keep the property up-to-date in structural and functional safety features, they have a right to seek damages in some cases. So what are the circumstances in which a property manager is liable for an injury that happens on their property, and when is the care and safe-keeping of a space the responsibility of the tenant? Read on to learn more about the obligations and liabilities of property managers in premises liability cases.

When is a property manager likely to be liable in New Jersey?

If a property has shared spaces, its maintenance and upkeep are the responsibility of the landlord or property owner. As such, if an injury occurs in a common area such as a lounge, pool area, or parking lot, a tenant can file a personal injury claim against the landlord and expect to receive compensation. Usually, such injuries that happen in a common area occur as a result of a landlord’s negligence. Unless there is regular upkeep, dangerous situations can exist, such as icy entrances, slippery stairways, and malfunctioning appliances such as communal cooking items or laundry machines. In all of these cases, it is the landlord’s legal responsibility to ensure that such fixtures are operating safely. While generally, landlords are off the hook when it comes to areas that are the exclusive domain of a tenant, common areas are definite liability centers. Yet common areas aren’t the only spaces in which landlords have a legal duty to maintain premises. Even a landlord’s own management of small but essential details, such as where and how they keep master keys,  can cause havoc that leads to a break-in or other accident, rendering them liable for failure to maintain the premises. Read on to learn about other areas in which premises liability falls in the court of a landlord or property management serving as their agent.

Smoke Alarms and Other NJ Emergency Equipment

Emergency equipment is one of the most essential fixtures in any private or business rental. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked by landlords and property managers, and tenants are left to find out that their preventive and emergency equipment is malfunctioning in highly inopportune and dangerous times. Things like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers have regular maintenance requirements that it is the duty of a landlord or property manager to schedule. If you are a tenant, take your safety into your own hands by inquiring as to the last time that the emergency equipment was serviced. If you are the victim of an accident that occurred due to malfunctioning equipment of this kind, contact our firm right away; you likely have the right to recover damages to your person and property caused by your landlord’s negligence.

Safety Features on Doors and Windows in NJ

Maintenance of Safety Devices Few things are more expected by a tenant than having a safely secured home or business environment, and few things are more terrifying than becoming aware that this is just not the case. It is the legal responsibility of a landlord to ensure that all exterior doors have proper locks and work well. If there is a common outer door shared by tenants, safety features must be in place to ensure that only invited guests enter the premises, and go where they are invited only. Having malfunctioning elements of a security system such as a buzzer that doesn’t work or worn locks and bolts create a scenario in which a person can break their way in; as such, regular maintenance and checks are necessary. Individual units must be checked regularly, at least at the beginning and end of a tenant’s tenure in the space – and more regularly if the tenant requests it – to ensure that doors, windows, and screens have locks that properly work and have not slipped out of place. A landlord is responsible for reviewing that any security features on doors or windows in accordance with municipal safety regulations, as well as things such as bars on doors and windows, are steadily attached while still ensuring that they are up to fire code, allowing for exit in the case of a fire or other emergency.

Did rental conditions jeopardize your and your family’s safety? Contact our Personal Injury Attorneys for a free confidential consultation at our Trenton office.

If you have been in an accident due to landlord or property management negligence, it’s essential that you have an attorney on your side. To recover damages due to your rental property accident, you’ll need the knowledge and requisite legal experience to successfully correlate your injuries with the negligence of the party responsible for maintaining property safety.

The attorneys at Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, have handled numerous cases in successfully representing clients and making sure their rights are protected and guaranteed. Our firm has worked side by side with clients from Burlington, Ewing, Princeton, Willingboro, Mount Holly, and Surrounding places. It will be our pleasure to talk to you during an initial consultation.

Call 609-528-2596 as soon as you are able after an incident to discuss your options and what can be done on your behalf. We can help.

Landlords and their Liability for Your Accident Injuries Mercer County, NJ

Whether Tenants can recover Compensation when injured on a Property in New Jersey Towns

Mercer County NJ Premises Liability AttorneysAny time a person is injured on public property or private property, depending on the circumstances of their accident they may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and emotional and physical pain and suffering through a premises liability claim.

However, if the party injured on private property is a tenant of that property, there is an added layer of proof and complication when it comes to potentially holding the landlord of that property liable for their injuries.

If you, as a tenant, have been injured on your property, be it an apartment complex, a commercial property, or a residential development, here is what you need to know about when and how you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries through a premises liability claim.

Mercer County Premises Liability Attorneys and Premises Liability Claims

In general, premises liability claims are filed when there was some kind of unsafe element on the property which caused the injury of another person. Things like uncleared ice or snow, potholes, insufficient lighting, loose flooring, exposed electrical wires, slippery floors, poor security, and many other elements can all cause injury to any person visiting the property.

However, in order for most premises liability claims to be successful, three key elements need to be proven by the injured party and their Mercer County premises liability attorneys. These three critical elements are:

  1. The Injured Party Exercised Reasonable Care – If whatever dangerous element of the property in question was readily apparent or marked as being hazardous, a court may find that the injured party should have exercised reasonable caution and avoided the hazard. However, if it can be proven that the hazard was hidden, this is the first step in securing compensation through a premises liability claim.
  2. The Landlord’s Knowledge of the Hazard – Next, you and your Mercer County premises liability attorney will need to be able to prove that the landlord of the property knew of the hazard, or should have known of the hazard if they were properly performing their duties.
  3. The Landlord’s Duty to Cure the Hazard – Finally, the courts will also examine whether or not the landlord knew or should have known about the hazard which caused injury on their property, and whether or not they took the steps, or were given a reasonable amount of time to take the steps necessary to curing the hazard.

Beyond these key elements, a successful premises liability claim will also require the injured party and their Mercer County premises liability attorney to show a clear link between the hazardous element of the property and how that element caused the injuries of the plaintiff, and further be able to clearly demonstrate the full extent of those injuries.

Tenants Securing Personal Injury Compensation from a Landlord, New Brunswick Premises Liability Lawyers

While these three elements form the basis of most premises liability claims, if the injured party was a tenant of the property where the injury occurred, and not a visitor, several additional elements of proof become necessary in order for the tenant to recover compensation through a premises liability claim.

This added complication is due to the fact that as a tenant, it is assumed that they would have much more knowledge of the property than a visitor, and may even be partially responsible for its maintenance as a part of their contract with the landlord. This means that in addition to the requirements normally associated with premises liability claims, a court will also examine questions such as:

  • Whether or not the tenant knew of the hazard
  • Whether or not the tenant notified the landlord about the hazard
  • Whether or not the tenant had the ability or the duty to repair the hazard in question

So for example, in the case that the tenant knew about the hazard but never notified the landlord about its existence, they may not be able to recover compensation through a premises liability claim. Or, in the case that the tenant had the ability to repair the hazard but did not do so, the court may reduce the landlord’s responsibility, and via comparative negligence laws, the compensation that the injured tenant ultimately receives.

Contact Our Trenton, Hamilton and Princeton NJ Accident and Injury Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have been recovering compensation for accident and injury victims in towns across New Jersey including New Brunswick, Trenton, Lawrence, Hamilton, Princeton, and Mercer County since 1972.

Our firm has carefully earned a reputation for success and effective legal counsel among insurance companies, courts, and communities alike across the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and we are prepared to put our knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate legal service to work for you today.

If you have been injured on public or private property, or even on the property of your landlord, we are ready to help you recover the financial compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and damages. To speak with our attorney team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential premises liability claim and how we can help you, please contact us online, or through our Trenton, NJ office at (609) 528-2596.