Question

Is my landlord liable for a slip and fall accident?

Last week the weather was pretty bad and the stairs in the back of the house got pretty icy because they are made of wood. I went to take out the trash and when I took the first step I slipped and fell, hurting my lower back and my arm. Since then I had shooting pain in my back and tingling in my legs and hands. The landlord is a pretty nice guy but doesn't really take care of the house as he should. He is somewhat of a slumlord and does the bare minimum of repairs and up keep. The house is visibly poorly taken care of. He's owned the house for 15 years so I'm pretty sure he was aware that the steps could get icy, in fact when I told him that I fell the mentioned that the steps sometimes get icy but didn't seem to take any precautions. He is a good guy though and I'm told that he has help a lot of people out in the past . I live in Atlanta, Ga so there is not much snow or extremely bad weather here but it does get black ice sometimes. Giving him the benefit of the doubt this might be why he doesn't take it that seriously. I'm torn because on one hand the house is very, very poorly taken care of but on the other hand he is a nice guy and my back really is in pain.. What should I do? Also he did not offer me any consolation or even concern for falling. He simply asked me to block the steps so no one else will fall. He may or may not have understood the seriousness of the fall. Other tenants are saying that i should sue him. I can easily find a place to live that's not a problem. Also I'm not the sole tenant in the house, it's more like a rooming house. I've only lived here for 2 months so I had no idea that the steps could get icy. I'm going to the doctor today because so far I've been in too much pain to go earlier.
And if so should I pursue it or not?
No there was no way for me to know that the steps are icy, the back steps are pretty dark also, this is just a temporary spot anyway, but if my back is messed up its difficult for me to work because my job is very physical.

3 years ago - 12 answers

Best Answer

Chosen by Asker

see where i'm from, suing isn't something done often, especially in comparison to america where the people tend to sue all the time. so hear me out and understand that my point of view will be vastly different than others you may hear from.

this is where you live, not your landlord (as far as i can tell), you are responsible for your own living environment. unless it is in the contract that the landlord will come and salt your steps when they get icy, it doesn't make much sense to me. he may have assumed that since you know that it is cold, you may have also been more careful on the steps, offering partial sympathy and suggesting you put up as sign or whatever is all that he needs to do.

if you knew that the house was in poor condition, why not take actions to move? did you expect with the conditions of the house that he would also come and salt the steps?

i dunno, to me its alot about common sense, but like i said, i have a different point of view.

3 years ago

Other Answers

Does your lease say who is responsible for keeping the steps clear of ice and snow? If it doesn't say the landlord is, then it is the tenants responsibility and you need to keep a shovel and some rock salt handy.

Source(s)

by Classy Granny - 3 years ago

Only a lawyer familiar with GA tort law can answer the question:

1. Just because you slip and fell does not equate to negligent claim

2. If you can produce Proof the landlord knew or should have known of a dangerous condition then you may have a tort claim

3. the fact there are multiple independent renters in the single family may bow well for you since in that case the landlord would have a heighten duty of care in regard to any part that is common area like the stairs etc

by goz1111 - 3 years ago

In order to win you need to prove two things.

First that he knew there was ice and he failed to do anything about it, if he was unaware he is not liable.

Second, that you took normal precautions for iced steps. If you did not then this is your negligence, no one elses.

by Landlord - 3 years ago

Did it say he would take care of that in the contract. Probably not, so it is your responsibility. So no you can't sue him for it.

And you would probably be like the lady that put the hot coffee between her legs and hit the bump in the road, and then sued as it was too hot.

take some responsiblity in your life for your own actions.

by David - 3 years ago

There was no way for you to know the steps might be icy? Bad weather when it's really cold didn't tip you off? The LL is not negligent here. You won't win a suit.

by the kid - 3 years ago

No, he is not and that is stated in your lease, as it is STANDARD lease language.

Everyone needs to go back and read their lease.

Do you not have renter's insurace? That is who covers you in the event of an accident.

Seriously....if you don't realize that ANY level of ice or snow can result in a fall, then I would wager that you probaby should be living at home with your parents instead of blaming someone else for falling on ice.

by Expert Realtor - 3 years ago

Did he refuse to salt the stairs when you requested it? Does your lease state he will ice the stairs you are leasing?

If you know that he "doesn't really take care of the house" or he's "somewhat of a slumlord and does the bare minimum," why wouldn't you be more cautious on icy stairs. Additionally, those statements have nothing to do with who's responsible for icing the stairs. So if you're trying to justify why you would sue a "nice guy" by pointing out other his faults, you may want to know that those other faults won't matter in this particular issue.

by Lessismore - 3 years ago

His insurance should cover you.

by real estate guy - 3 years ago

In a multi-family dwelling the owner must take care of the steps. Call and tell him about it and present him with the bill.

by estielmo - 3 years ago

It will probably depend on where you live. If the steps violate some sort of building code then I would think you have a case. Where I live and have rentals I would not be negligent unless I actually sprayed the water on the steps knowing they would freeze.

Water freezes, there is nothing you land lord can do about that.

by Ross - 3 years ago

It is your responsibility to exercise due caution.

C'mon! You live where it snows & ices over and you didn't know the steps would be slippery? Really?

by R P - 3 years ago