An injury that happens in or around your apartment or rental unit may not be your fault. As a tenant in a rented house or apartment, you should be guaranteed a certain level of safety, security and be free from hazard and dangers. Landlords have a direct responsibility for the maintenance and repair or your unit, and have a duty of care by law to ensure that the premises you rent is safe for use.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a rental unit or apartment it’s important that you contact a Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyer to learn your rights as a seriously injured tenant.
In Ontario, most rental units are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act. The act sets out the Province’s laws in relation to the responsibilities of landlords and the rights of tenants who rent properties. The RTA covers such issues as rent, rent increases, ending a tenancy (eviction) and dispute resolution.
There is also an accompanying Ontario Regulation which prescribes the maintenance standards for landlords with respect to the rental units. The law is clear that if a landlord rents a unit to a tenant, that unit should be maintained in sound condition and safe for tenant use. Landlords are required to maintain the condition of both the interior and exterior of their units, including all structural elements, yards, porches, balconies, parking areas, pathways and storage areas. Landlords are also mandated to maintain floors and foundation walls to reasonably protect against deterioration due to weather, rodents or insects. The exterior rental units should also be properly graded to prevent ponding of water on a surface, in order to prevent slip and falls. It’s also important that landlords always maintain adequate artificial lighting in all rooms, stairways, halls, core doors, grudges, basements and parking lots.
Most municipalities have their own property standards bylaws which sets out the repair and safety standards for all dwellings, structures and properties. Hamilton’s property standards bylaw sets out the obligated maintenance requirements for property owners in the city, including landlords. Hamilton’s property standards bylaw makes it clear that property owners must keep their premises safe and in good repair. The property standards by-law covers both the interior and exterior of properties, as well as all staircases, landings, balconies and porches.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act is an Ontario law that is an Ontario Act, that codifies the common law obligations and duties that occupiers of premises owe to persons entering into or onto their premises. The law mandates that all persons who own or control a premise or property in Ontario need to take reasonable care for the safety of visitors onto the property. Reasonable care means that there needs to be some positive effort on behalf of a property owner to put into place regular procedural safeguards to protect visitors on their property. If reasonable care is not maintained, your landlord will be held liabile for your injuries.
Tragically, apartment and rental units injuries occur frequently because apartment complex owners neglect the responsibilities they have to their tenants. Since 2003 we have been representing injured victims in Hamilton and all over Ontario who have been hurt in rental apartments and rented houses, some of which are caused by:
Porch and Balcony Dangers – such as missing boards, collapsed boards, inadequate construction and or repairs.
Outdoor Staircase Dangers – such as missing boards, have loose boards, have loose or faulty railings, railings at improper height, are without railings, inadequate construction or repairs.
Pavement and Parking Lot Dangers – parking lots that are not cleared, left icy, unsalted, inadequately sloped, have drainage issues, potholes, cracks, trip ledges or flooding issues.
Flooring Damage – issues such as exposed nails, floorboards which are in disrepair, loose and torn carpet.
Stairs – indoor stairs which are left in a state of disrepair, defective, have loose boards, holes, missing boards, uneven rise and run (dangerous stair riser), improper lighting, loose carpeting, defective handrails, or handrails that are not of proper height.
Windows – defective windows, improperly installed windows and screens which can allow children to fall through them.
Falling Objects – such as loose ceiling tiles and other parts of neglected buildings that can fall on unsuspecting tenants, causing serious head, face, and eye injuries.
Other issues that can cause tenant injury include
If you have suffered serious injuries in your rental unit, rental apartment or rented house – or you have lost a loved one due to a landlord’s negligence, call us today at 905-333-8888 or fill in a contact form to message us directly. If your landlord or property owners has acted recklessly or negligently, then he or she can be held accountable for failing to keep your apartment in a reasonable state of safety. Landlords, property management companies and apartment owners have a responsibility to you as their resident to maintain a safe environment – and if they did not, they may in fact be responsible for your losses, pain and suffering and loss of wages due to your inability to work.