If you rent a home or apartment, you know you're supposed to tell the manager or landlord if there is anything that needs repair. Sometimes the items seem so small—or you have such an antagonistic relationship with your landlord or manager that you don't want to deal with them—that you avoid telling the landlord or manager about the items that need repair. But if you neglect to keep that line of communication open, you could make yourself liable for any injuries those problems cause.

Premises Liability

If you injure yourself by slipping and falling, falling after furniture collapses, and so on, the responsibility for the accident tends to lie on the person responsible for ensuring whatever injured you was safe. (The exception to that is when the injured person was doing something that caused the accident, like jumping up and down on the chair when he or she was not supposed to.) So, if your friend sits down on a chair that you knew was about to collapse, but you didn't tell your friend, then you'd be at fault.

If Your Landlord Doesn't Know

In a rental situation, the renter's belongings are the renter's responsibility, and the housing in general—appliances supplied with the rental unit, patio chairs owned by the landlord, and so on—is the landlord or manager's responsibility.

But if something goes wrong with one of those patio chairs, for example, and you are the only one who knows, you have to tell the landlord or manager. If you don't, and someone sits in one of the chairs and is injured when the chair collapses, then you are considered at fault even though the chairs are the property of the landlord or manager. Basically, if they don't know something is wrong, they can't be held responsible.

Once you tell them, though, about the faulty chair (or whatever the issue may be), then they are on notice to fix the item or warn people away from the item. This is why, even if you are tired of talking to them, you have to let them know about the problem. That moment of talking to them will be less troublesome in the long run than dealing with a personal injury lawsuit.

If you have been injured on someone's property and think they knew the cause of the accident was dangerous to begin with, talk to a personal injury lawyer (like those at Sarkisian, Sarkisian & Associates PC). The lawyer will help you sort out who knew what and who had the responsibility in the situation.