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When Can You Sue Your Landlord in a Premises Liability Claim?

Dec 27, 2021

The details of your rental contract and Michigan state laws could determine if you’re able to file a successful premises liability claim. If you have been injured or suffered losses because of the negligence of your landlord, then it may be time for you to consult one of our experienced Michigan premises liability lawyers who is familiar with these cases.

What Details Pertain to Premises Liability in a Rental Agreement?

You should consider the details of premises liability in your rental agreement. Michigan’s Truth in Renting Act regulates rental agreements between landlords and tenants. According to this act, your landlord must adhere to the following to maintain the property:

●      Landlords Have to Maintain Livable Properties

A landlord’s responsibility under Michigan law is to maintain the condition of their tenants’ homes and common areas within reasonable repair during the length of time of the rental agreement. Landlords must also keep the homes and common areas in compliance with health and safety standards.

The landlord and the tenant cannot reduce this obligation unless they sign a lease for a year or longer. The landlord’s obligation to make reasonable repairs depends on the type of repair. Although it is reasonable to require a landlord to fix the heating and cooling system, it may be considered unreasonable to require them to replace peeling wallpaper.

●      Landlords Are Not Absolved from Liability

Leases do not absolve a landlord of their legal obligation to follow rental housing codes. In a contract, it is illegal to state that the landlord isn’t responsible for maintaining a habitable property. The landlord might be exempt from liability for fires or other natural catastrophes caused by tenants who have insurance.

●      Tenants Cannot Be Forced to Give Up Their Legal Rights

Leases cannot include the following restrictions for tenants:

  • Force a tenant to admit responsibility for damage that hasn’t happened yet
  • Any right associated with removing a tenant from their residence
  • Remove their right to a jury or other legal procedures
  • Reduce a party’s obligation to mitigate damages
  • Pay someone else’s legal fees
  • Make someone relinquish their Power of Attorney to the landlord

What About the Tenant’s Responsibility?

Tenants generally have the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure the rent is paid on time
  • Maintain a safe and hygienic rental property
  • Notify the landlord as soon as possible if there is a maintenance issue
  • Get rid of any insects that appear if they did not exist when they moved in
  • Leave the rental property in good condition, allowing for some reasonable repair

If a tenant’s behavior or lack of action has caused a health or safety issue in their property, the landlord does not have to fix it.

When Can I Sue My Landlord for a Premises Liability Claim?

If the landlord fails to maintain the upkeep and safety premises, you may have grounds for a negligence lawsuit in violation of Michigan law. Some of the most common causes of these lawsuits include:

  • Defective staircases
  • Accidents involving elevators
  • Snow and ice-related slip and fall injuries
  • Lead poisoning
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

An experienced premises liability lawyer can create a strong case for you as a tenant, proving that your injuries resulted from your landlord’s direct negligence of the property.

A Premises Liability Lawyer Can Build Your Case

If you’ve been injured because of your landlord’s negligence, it’s difficult to understand your legal options. At Fieger Law, we have represented people like you in Michigan and throughout the country who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others, including landlords.

One of our experienced attorneys can assess your case during a consultation. Fill out our online form or contact us today to get started.