If you rent or are a guest at a rental property, the landlord or property owner is required to keep common areas of the apartment complex or rental property free from hazards and dangerous conditions.
In Washington, common areas include areas such as shared laundry rooms, stairs, fire escapes, entrances, hallways, lobbies and other areas that are shared by all the tenants. Washington’s Residential Landlord Tenant Act creates a duty on part of the landlord to maintain these areas and prevent dangerous conditions from causing injury to persons on the property.
Your landlord may also be liable if the conditions in your apartment or home cause you injury. For example, if the stairs inside your unit are not built to code or have suffered from disrepair, any injuries suffered by you or your family may give rise to a claim against the landlord. Similarly, problems with the stairs, handrails or other conditions on the outside portions of the apartment complex may also give rise to a premises liability claim.
Condominiums also have common areas that the condo board is in charge of maintaining. If you are visiting a condominium and suffer injuries in the common areas, the specific facts of your situation may give rise to a personal injury claim.
Areas where we tend to see premises liability in apartment building include issues with: