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Law

Defining Landlord Negligence: What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Being a landlord comes with a heavy load of responsibility needed for keeping tenants, as well as building a reputation that gets you new ones in the future. If there is anything that you want to avoid in the process of building positive relationships, it’s being accused of landlord negligence resulting from ignoring problems which build up overtime and get too big to fix easily.

Ignoring issues with property long enough can not only result in damage that could take a day or two to fix, but a problem that can put someone’s life in danger and lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. This guide aims to let you know how to avoid negligence and, in the process, a lawsuit stemming from a loss of life.

What This Lawsuit Means

We must first go over what a wrongful death lawsuit is. In this case, one party files a claim against a defendant who caused someone’s death either intentionally or from negligence. The person who files the claim is usually a representative of the estate where the deceased person lived. Such a person, or people, could be the deceased’s spouse, parents or children. If you’re a new landlord and are trying to learn a bit more about who exactly can sue you in this case, then it’s best to communicate your concerns with professional who work for organizations such as Halifax law firms.

Where you run your business may also affect who can file this lawsuit against you. Some towns, states and other regions allow the parents to file the claim whether the person who died was a child or adult, and many have their own rules on if siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts or uncles would be able to sue. It is normally harder for relatives who have a more distant relationship with the deceased to file a claim.

Examples of Negligence

Landlord negligence refers to a landlord’s inability to make repairs and answer concerns of tenants on time. Just about all tenants going into an agreement with landlords expecting services to be functioning on a regular basis without a hitch, as well as any obstacles to their safety to be removed. While a landlord ignoring complaints about a pipe leaking in a tenant’s room, a lightbulb going out in a hallway or the washing machines not working can lead to a negligence lawsuit, willfully dismissing someone who brings up an issue can lead problems beyond injuries.

A tenant could inform a landlord of a creaking stair in a staircase that could result in its breaking, and if the landlord doesn’t have it fixed, it could lead to the tenant falling through the stairs and landing in a way that kills them. A landlord could also be ignoring their phone while they’re away from vacation, and those calls could have been about a tree falling through a roof during a thunderstorm and killing a tenant. Not addressing traffic and parking issues can lead to an accident in the parking lot that results in someone’s death.

Making Rules Clear

If you want to avoid any chance of a tenant getting killed and their loved one filing a wrongful death lawsuit against you, then the best thing you can do is make the rules of how the property is taken care of as clear as possible. These rules will depend on the kind of property you make available, as co-op apartments and condominiums will put more responsibility for repairs and maintenance on your shoulders than if you were providing houses. It also helps to make yourself easily accessible via phone, email, and other forms of communication so that you can’t say that you were never notified of a problem.

You could face a potential wrongful death lawsuit even if the tenant’s death wasn’t your fault. If you want to make sure that you are dealing with honest people, including the tenant and their family, then you need to do plenty of research on their background. Making your tenant screening report free will save you time and money on seeing if potential tenants were involved in any scams in the past and have a proven track record of taking care of their homes.

Keep these tips in mind so that you can avoid a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit, as this will allow you to keep business flowing and maintain great relationships with tenants.