San Diego Premise Liability – A Landlord’s Duty


Injuries at apartment complexes or rental properties are quite common.  Many people are injured in the common areas of apartment complexes due to unsafe conditions such as leaks, electrical problems, or just general defects in the construction of the complex.  Or, a party may be injured because of some unknown danger inside their rental unit.

In those instances, if you are injured, you can bring a lawsuit for premises liability against the landlord of your rental unit.  To bring a case for premise liability, you have to prove the following things:

  • That the landlord owned/leased/occupied/controlled the property in question;
  • That the landlord was negligent in maintaining the property;
  • That you were injured in some way; and
  • That the landlord’s negligence more likely than not caused your injury.

Unlike with other property owners, e.g. the owner of a business, California law has a special duty for landlords when it comes to preventing injury on their property.  A landlord must conduct reasonable periodic inspections of their rental property to try to prevent injuries.  Before giving possession of a property to a tenant, a landlord must conduct a reasonable inspection of the property for unsafe conditions, and must take reasonable precautions to prevent injury due to conditions they could have discovered.

Also, a landlord cannot escape liability for failing to maintain a property in a safe condition by delegating the duty to an independent contractor (the “nondelegable duty” rule).

However, a landlord’s duty to keep their property safe is limited to what they could have reasonably discovered through a normal inspection.  The landlord’s obligation is only to do what is reasonable under the circumstances, and they need not take extraordinary measures to try to discover hazards.

With these issues in mind, an attorney can help you determine if you may have a valid claim, and, if so, against whom.  If you believe you have a case for an injury you suffered on someone else’s property, please contact Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.