As in other states, Arizona requires that residential landlords of multifamily units maintain safe premises for tenants and their families. In addition to keeping common areas clean and hazard-free, this may mean making regular inspections and staying on top of tenant concerns about needed repairs.
This is especially important when it comes to apartment complexes, where many residents may use the same stairwells, walkways and parking lots. Unfortunately, property owners are not always diligent about following through with their legal duties, which may put tenants at high risk of injury.
1. Hazardous staircases
Missing, loose or broken handrails, worn or buckling carpeting, rotted steps or steps that do not meet building code can all pose a danger to residents who may lose their balance and fall due to owner negligence.
2. Cracked pavement or potholes
Similarly, landlords may have an obligation to keep parking areas and outdoor walkways reasonably free from hazards. Deep potholes, cracked pavement or dangerously uneven sidewalks may all pose a risk, especially for those who may have mobility issues.
3. Poor lighting
Lack of adequate lighting can also create potentially serious issues. In addition to making it difficult for tenants to see potential obstacles or hazards, poor lighting may create a security risk, particularly in higher-crime areas.
While landlords have a responsibility to provide safe premises, an injured tenant may not be able to bring a claim unless he or she can prove that the owner was negligent. However, if a resident can show that the landlord both knew about the hazard and failed to address or correct it, he or she may be able to receive compensation for injuries by filing a premises liability claim.