From mold-contaminated interiors to lack of adequate fire escapes, your apartment could conceal a number of dangers that place you at risk for serious injury. Keep your eyes open when renting an apartment and look for hazards that your landlord has failed to mention.
Landlord Obligations to Reveal Hazards
Under Florida law as well as federal law, landlords are under an obligation to reveal hazards or risks on their property before signing the rental agreements. For instance, the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act is a federal law that requires a landlord to disclose any known lead-based paint risk on the property. Your landlord must make the disclosure prior to signing the rental agreement.
Under the law, your landlord is also required to inform you about other risks related to your safety and health, like fire protection if building is more than three stories high, warning about radon hazards, and other important details.
Hazards to Look for in Your Rental Apartment
Before you sign the rental agreement, ask for the following pertinent information that could help keep you safe in your new apartment or house.
- A list of existing damage to the property before your tenancy
- Information about smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire escapes in the building
- Existence of any mold-contamination in the building
- Existence of pets or bedbugs on the property
- All pertinent information about the persons employed to supervise the property and manage it in the absence of the landlord, like the property manager
- A history of disasters on the property like floods or fires
- All information related to building code violations, inspection failures, and other outstanding legal action against the property
Before you sign the rental agreement, take a tour of the apartment as well as the building and look for these often overlooked dangers that your landlord may forget to mention.
- Unstable or shaky guardrails
- Broken staircases (can be just one step)
- Lack of lighting (missing or just blown out light bulbs) in corridors and stairwells
- Lack of illumination in parking lots and common areas
A landlord may be liable for injuries that are the result of an unsafe or hazardous property. Those rights are not absolute, however. Tenants are also required to take necessary precautions to keep themselves safe.
If you suffered any injury in your rented home, speak to a premises liability lawyer about whether you can recover compensation for damages. Call 855-529-0269 to speak with our lawyers at Chalik and Chalik Law Offices or fill out our contact form to set up a free consultation.