Skip to content


Free Consultation

Is the landlord always liable for tenant or visitor injuries?

The trouble with asking if a landlord is always liable is that absolutes rarely work in cases like this. Certainly, it cannot be said that a landlord is always liable when people are injured in a rental property in New York. The actions that the tenant or visitor takes play into this, as well, and landlords can’t prevent injuries when people do dangerous things.

However, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of cases in which landlords are responsible. They need to make sure that rental spaces are always as safe and inhabitable as possible, addressing issues as they come up.

There are a few key things that need to be shown to determine if the landlord is liable or not:

— The landlord must have had a duty to make repairs or take action to rectify a dangerous situation.

— The landlord must have violated this duty by not taking action quickly enough to fix the problem.

— It has to be shown that the issue isn’t unreasonably difficult or expensive to fix.

— The landlord needed to know about the problem.

— The injury had to be caused directly by the dangerous condition and the fact that it wasn’t fixed.

This is why it’s important for tenants to tell landlords about dangerous conditions like a broken step or banister on a staircase. However, even if the tenant does not tell the landlord and perhaps doesn’t know about it in the first place, the landlord can be liable if he or she should have known.

Negligence could just be a failure to inspect and upkeep the property reasonably.If you’ve been injured in a rental space, you might be able to seek compensation.

Source: FindLaw, “Liability for Tenant Injuries and Insurance for Landlords,” accessed Oct. 16, 2015


“O’Dwyer & Bernstien has helped me in several different situations over the last 12 years that I’ve lived in NYC. They’re my go-to firm because they always obtain the results that I need and deserve. They’re also located in downtown Manhattan, which makes them very convenient. The office and people that work there are exactly what you’d expect from a top tier law firm in the world’s greatest city.”

“When I got hurt in a traffic accident while riding my bike in New York City, my friend suggested I speak to O’Dwyer & Bernstien. Upon my initial phone conversation with a lawyer from the firm I was impressed by his courtesy, quick return phone calls and concise explanation of the legal tactics available to me. After meeting face to face with him, I decided immediately to retain O’Dwyer & Bernstien to represent me in my personal injury case. I was very happy with my attorney and with the outcome of my case. I highly recommend O’Dwyer & Bernstien to anyone seeking legal representation.”

“I retained O’Dwyer & Bernstien on the recommendation of a friend. I was immediately impressed by the firm’s experience and reputation in personal injury law. From the start, my ODB attorney walked me through the process, answered all my questions, explained everything clearly, kept me updated regularly and always promptly returned my telephone calls and emails. My attorney was knowledgeable, professional, courteous and diligent. My case moved through the court system quickly. As trial neared, the insurance company saw that my attorney was experienced and thoroughly prepared to try my case to verdict. As a result, the insurance company caved and settled my case for the full limits of the insurance policy. I love my ODB attorney!”

“When I was hurt on the job I had nowhere to turn for help. I had been working as an electrician’s helper, but my boss was not insured and he had no license to do electrical work. I had just had a new baby girl and Con Ed was going to shut off my lights. A friend told me to call O’Dwyer & Bernstien. They took action right away and got great money for my case. ODB helped me get my life back on track. I will always be grateful.”