Under Arizona law, homeowners and landowners are typically liable for injuries occurring on their property. But injuries on rental properties can cause some confusion about who is responsible.

Understanding premises liability and personal injury laws in the state can help shed some light on the issue.

Landlords

Landlords are responsible to maintain the safety of their properties and are legally responsible to keep appliances and utilities in good condition. Because of this, they are typically responsible for injuries that occur as a result of the property’s condition.

Tenants can accept some of these responsibilities by entering a written, signed, good faith agreement. For example, many tenants make agreements with their landlord to maintain certain appliances or address landscaping needs in exchange for reduced rent. Arizona law allows this if the agreement is in writing and is in good faith.

Tenants’ liability

Arizona law protects tenants from liability to many visitors unless the injury is due to gross negligence on the part of the tenant. Gross negligence would imply that the injury was the result of willful or intentional negligence, such as the failure to address a threat he or she reasonably could have predicted.

Tenants may also be liable for injuries on the premises if they create and maintain an attractive nuisance — conditions on a property that would be likely to attract children at their peril.

Considerations

While landlords are responsible to maintain the property and are liable for its condition in most cases, they cannot be responsible for the negligence of tenants. As FindLaw explains, they are rarely responsible for a tenant’s dog biting a neighbor, or for dangerous conditions created by the tenant without the landlord’s approval.

The matter of who is liable often comes down to the question of whose negligence caused the injury.