The short answer is “no.” In fact, the very term “automatically” is rarely found when discussing legal duties of any kind. There are conditions that must be met in order to successfully claim that a landlord is legally responsible to renters or lessees.
The issue is legally complex and heavily fact-driven. In other words, the legal analysis of the issue depends specifically on the actual facts of any given case, where the complexity of the facts must be analyzed comparatively to the complexity of the laws.
SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Slip and fall accidents, sometimes known as “slip, trip, and fall” accidents, are among the most common accidents in the legal area commonly known as “premises liability.” Premises liability cases are based on injuries that are suffered by people on another person’s property caused by unsafe conditions. So, for example, if you are shopping at a grocery store and slip and fall on a cooking oil spill that has not been cleaned up or even warned against, the store may be liable for your injuries.
FLORIDA PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIMS
To establish a successful premises liability claim in Florida, a victim must show that:
- The property owner or manager owed a duty of care
- The property owner or manager breached that duty of care
- The breach caused an accident
- Actual damage (for example, any type of related medical expenses or loss of income were the result of the victim’s injuries)
As you can see, establishing a duty of care is the first element you must show. This issue can become complex because the appropriate duty of care depends on what type of visitor you are, meaning, what the purpose for your entry upon the premises was.
In Florida, the duty of care owed by a landlord to renters or lessees is set out in Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. Generally speaking, under Section 83.51, a landlord’s duty to maintain the premises includes complying with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes, or if no code is applicable, then to maintain structural components in good repair. More specifically, a landlord may be held liable for failure to perform a long list of duties, and there are exceptions and more detailed duties, for example, visitors rather than inhabitants.
As the Florida Supreme Court has expressed, a “landlord has a duty ‘to transfer a reasonably safe dwelling unit to the tenant…[and] to exercise reasonable care to repair dangerous, defective conditions upon notice of their existence by the tenant.'”
The establishment of a landlord’s duty is the subject matter of most arguments in landlord premises liability claims. Nonetheless, as stated above, once a duty has been established, a victim must further show a breach of the applicable duty, causation, and actual damages.
A FLORIDA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER CAN NAVIGATE THE LEGAL COMPLEXITIES RELATED TO PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIMS IN FLORIDA
If you or a loved one have been injured or even killed due to a breach of duty by a landlord in Florida, let a Florida personal injury lawyer help you with your insurance or legal claims.