A top concern for potential tenants is the safety measures implemented by the landlord. In South Carolina, the law requires that landlords set up protective mechanisms that will ensure their tenants do not experience preventable accidents.
Most renters are unaware that their rights are written into state law, and that they can suffer severe losses due to their landlord’s negligence. However, premises liability attorneys in Charleston can help tenants who have suffered significant losses receive compensation they would never have secured if they had worked independently.
Property owners have a duty to provide a residential environment that is functional, habitable, and free of hazards. The following article will discuss the landlord’s responsibilities for providing safety and what to do if you experience an accident due to your landlord’s negligence.
Landlord’s Responsibility in Providing Safety
South Carolina landlord-tenant laws and the Federal Fair Housing Act contain clauses that require property owners to put measures in place that will ensure their rental properties are safe.
Before, during, and after you move in, your landlord should regularly assess and correct any risks that could interfere with your well-being. The landlord has a responsibility to provide a secure and safe environment for their residents in the following ways:
Conduct Regular Property Inspections
Imagine a landlord who walks around your premises every three to six months or even just once a year to check for any defects in the security measures that are in place. You would probably feel reassured knowing that they prioritize the safety of their tenants. They can also use these inspections to take note of any leakages, hanging wires, or pest infestations.
In other situations, a landlord can conduct a random inspection to check if the tenants are adhering to the rules of their leases. These rules often include:
- Maintaining cleanliness
- Not hosting unauthorized occupants (which can be a security risk)
- Not taking part in illegal activities
As uncomfortable as it may be to see your landlord walking around your premises, allowing them to inspect helps to enforce safety measures.
Provide Adequate Outdoor Lighting
Most criminals target residential or commercial properties that do not have adequate lighting. If your apartment complex has dark or dimly lit corridors, you are at risk of theft, burglary, or assault. Landlords should be providing adequate lighting in the following areas:
- Parking lots
- Common areas
While adequate lighting may require paying more in rent, this is often better than becoming the victim of criminal activity, slip and fall accidents, or collision injuries. Joye Law Firm has helped many tenants receive favorable compensation for incidents on premises where the landlords neglected such critical safety measures.
Maintain Secure Entryways and Exits
Maintaining secure entryways and exits is the most basic safety measure any property owner should have in place. This security feature involves securing exterior doors and gates with modern, working locks. When your landlord fails to repair damaged or broken locks, it can lead to intrusion, unauthorized access, and security breaches.
If you live in a large apartment complex, the landlord should also use an intercom system and hire security guards to monitor high-traffic entryways.
Landlords who neglect to repair worn-out locks and latches may end up having to compensate tenants with legal counsel whose property is stolen or damaged. When working with premises liability attorneys, Charleston residents can feel assured that they will have a fair chance at receiving justice and potential compensation.
Install Safety Features in Units
Your personal space should also have safety features and devices in place to enhance safety. These additional features in your unit will prevent accidents or severe injuries from occurring. Examples of safety installations include:
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Nonslip surfaces in the bathrooms
- Coverings for water heaters
Landlords must also watch out for other in-unit hazards and re-install, when necessary, damaged floors, naked wires, moldy areas, and faulty appliances.
What Actions to Take After an Accident Due to Safety Measure Negligence
Take the following steps if you have experienced an accident as a result of your landlord not addressing a safety measure issue:
- Seek medical attention for any injuries.
- Take photos or videos of the hazardous matter or environment related to the accident.
- Contact the police if the situation is severe and complete an incident or police report.
- Inform your landlord in writing that an accident due to an unaddressed hazard has taken place.
- Get estimates on the property damage costs, items stolen, or medical bills incurred.
- Contact experienced Charleston premises liability attorneys to help you navigate the compensation process.
At Joye Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate any incident leading to injury or property loss. We will help you receive justice and fight for favorable compensation from the property owner. Contact us today, and let us put a stop to tenant rights violations.