Are you living in an unsanitary rental house or apartment that needs urgent repair? If your place is ill-managed or needs repairs, you might find yourself searching for things like, “Can a tenant sue a landlord for falling down the stairs?” Hopefully, you will never find yourself in this situation but if you do, it’s good to know the answer to such a question.
If you are living in poor conditions, you have complete legal rights to sue your landlord and this article will tell you in what cases you could do so. This advice also applies to commercial or business premises so keep reading ahead.
First Think to Check out
There’s one thing you should confirm before you think about suing your landlord, it’s to make sure that your rental is completely legal and registered with the local property developers. If you find yourself living in an illegal rental, this can have terrible repercussions for you before you even get to the lawsuit. Ensure that you are not doing anything illegal before anything else.
1- Withholding Your Security Deposit
If you have been a model tenant and have fulfilled all of your legal obligations to your landlord, they have no reason to hold on to your security deposit. They need to return this amount back to you as soon as your lease is up and if they don’t, they’re violating the law. You can sue your landlord according to your local security deposit guidelines so check these out thoroughly.
2- Living In an Uninhabitable Space
If the apartment or rental space you’re in becomes infested with pests and your landlord refuses to deal with this, you might be in legal rights to sue. With old apartments, you can get a rat or roach infestation. This can make it impossible to live decently in your apartments. Give your landlord fair warning and if they don’t step up and call an exterminator, you can file charges against him.
Your apartment might have been damaged by flood for storm damage as well, which would require some repair from your landlord. Basically, check out what repairs are required by law. If your landlord is not doing the works that are needed, they are in clear violation of the law and you can sue them.
3- Injuries in Your Rental Place
Your landlord is normally responsible for making necessary repairs to your premises in order to be safe for the tenants. So if you get injured due to some repair neglects you can sue your landlord. Referring to the stairs example, if you fall down the stairs and get injured due to the landlord’s failure to repair the staircase, then you can definitely file a lawsuit. However, make sure that you inform your landlord of any potential hazards beforehand. Then if they don’t repair them, you have a strong case.
4- Violation of Your Privacy
As a tenant, you’re entitled to your privacy and a safe space. If your landlord keeps barging into your place without prior warning, and won’t respect your privacy, you can sue your landlord. The landlord is allowed to enter the place to make repairs but they need to inform you of this beforehand. Furthermore, they cannot enter the premises when you’re not around or if you haven’t given them special permission to do so. Unless your rental agreement states that your landlord can walk in at any given time (which is rather unlikely) you will be within your legal rights to file a case against them.
5- Unlawful Eviction
You can sue your landlord if you believe they are evicting you unlawfully or illegally. If you are forced to move before the time specified on your contract, you might incur moving costs and this is unfair on you. If your landlord acts in a way that makes it impossible for you to continue living in the space, you can sue. Make sure you’re aware of the local rental contracts in your area. If you are being treated unfairly, you can file a suit against your landlord at any time.