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When am I eligible to sue my landlord for illnesses or injuries?

Landlords have a responsibility to keep the properties that they own and rent out free of potential health hazards. It also is their responsibility to ensure that the place they're renting is up to current housing codes also. If they fail to do this, and some serious illness or injury results from their negligence, then they can be held liable for paying any medical bills, lost wages and other expenses the injured party may amass.

When a landlord decides to put up a place for rent, there's an implied habitability warranty that comes along with it. It serves as a sort of guarantee that the property that a tenant is looking to rent doesn't pose any known safety or health risks to them.

If issues arise after the tenants move in, then it's the job of the landlord to make sure that necessary repairs are made as soon as possible. The one problem with this, though, is that a reasonable amount of time is seen as being within 30 days.

As you can imagine, things can deteriorate pretty quickly during this time. Some of the more concerning health or safety hazards that may exist include poor electrical wiring, mold growth, a leaking roof, a broken water heater and a pest control problem.

In the case of the more serious, potentially life-threatening concerns, contacting local agencies like the county health department or a building's superior may be necessary.

If you make contact with the landlord about a potentially hazardous situation, it's important that you do so in writing. This will be critical in establishing a history of negligence that a judge or jury will need you to produce to render a decision in the case.

Tangible injuries like a broken leg caused by tripping on poorly installed tiles or pneumonia caused by a mold growth may be easier to quantify simply by looking at an individual's medical bills. Nontangible expenses, such as emotional distress caused by a water heater being left in ill repair or locks not being changed after a move out, may be harder to value.

If you've suffered an injury at the property you rent, then a Los Lunas premises liability attorney may advise you of your right to file suit against your landlord for negligence.

Source: SF Gate, "When is a landlord guilty of negligence?," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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