The winter months are fast approaching, and now is a perfect time to learn your rights as a tenant to ensure that your landlord is taking all of their legally-necessary steps to prepare your home for the upcoming winter weather. Winters in Pennsylvania can be tough, and you’ll want to find a Pennsylvania law office that can help you through this process.
What is premise liability?
Under premise liability laws, the person who owns the property is responsible for certain injuries that an individual suffers due to the landlord’s negligence. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Inadequate maintenance of property
- Inadequate security
Depending upon the lease and contract, landlords can be responsible for the shared or common spaces of a home, such as the walkways, the driveways, the porch and hallways leading into the home. In a multiple family house, they are also responsible for the basement and attic as long as it is shared space. In the winter months, this often translates to injuries obtained by tenants because landlords failed to remove snow in a timely manner, de-ice sidewalks and driveways, and maintain the structural integrity of the home even after damage from snow, sleet, wind, or rain.
What can you do to prepare?
Ensure you understand your rights as a tenant by consulting a professional lawyer in Pennsylvania who understands the unique laws in Pennsylvania and specializes in premise liability. Before the snow and bad weather hits, talk to your landlord and ask them what the snow removal plan is and request the phone number of the person in charge of snow removal. Get their plan in writing to ensure you have a paper trail in case they don’t uphold their responsibilities to you and the property. Another way you can ensure your safety and the safety of your family is to conduct a thorough inspection of your home. Take pictures of any potentially dangerous conditions that require attention. Record your findings in writing and communicate this to your landlord. You don’t want to wait until the snow and ice are falling to have a snow removal plan in place.
Premise Liability: What is your landlord responsible for?
Even if you are arrested and charged, there is still hope. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania, like Michael Applebaum, can help you aggressively combat charges, and many will provide a free initial consultation. Investing in your own legal representation may help you avoid thousands of dollars in fines, as well as possible felony convictions and state prison time, depending on the severity of the charge.