Oct 282012

Under Pennsylvania law, landlords have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for their tenants, tenants’ guests, and those who come onto the property for other purposes, such as postal or utility workers. This duty does not extend to every area of a rental property, but to common areas, such as:

  • hallways,
  • walkways,
  • stairways,
  • laundry areas,
  • parking lots,
  • recreation rooms, and
  • other public access areas.

In general, there are three kinds of situations when a landlord will be liable for a tenant, guest or other party’s injuries which occur at a rental property like an apartment complex: reasonably foreseeable criminal activity, slip and falls, and other negligence issues.

Landlord Liability for Third Party Criminal Activity in Pennsylvania

Landlords can be held liable for criminal activity on a rental property, if that criminal activity is either one, made easier by the landlord’s negligence, or two, the landlord fails to warn tenants of known criminal activity on or near the property. In the first scenario, a landlord who fails to provide proper locks on doors and windows could be held liable if a criminal gains entry into a door or window with faulty locks. In the second scenario, a landlord could be held liable for failing to warn tenants, guests and others of criminal activity on or near the premises. For instance, if an apartment complex is subject to a rash of violent robberies and the landlord knows or should know about the situation, yet fails to warn tenants, the landlord could be held liable for subsequent criminal activity.

Landlord Liability for Slip and Falls in Pennsylvania

Landlords who fail to reasonably maintain common areas may be held liable for slip and falls or trip and falls. Whether due to snow and ice issues or other issues such as water left on a walkway, landlords can be held liable for injuries to tenants, guests and others on the property.

Landlord Liability for Other Negligence in Pennsylvania

In addition to slip and fall related negligence, landlords can be held liable for various other negligent acts or omissions, such as mold exposure or carbon monoxide poisoning. Under Pennsylvania law, landlords can be held liable for negligent maintenance in the care and control of the property.

If you’d like to have your case reviewed by our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania defective premises and landlord liability lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

Related Pennsylvania Landlord Liability Legal Articles:

Pennsylvania Landlord Negligence & Liability Law Firm

The defective premises lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

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  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

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