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What are your landlord’s safety responsibilities?

If you get injured on someone else’s property, the owner may be held responsible for the cost of your injuries. For example, slipping on a wet floor at the grocery store may be a cause for a premises liability case. Does this property owner responsibility extend to the apartment complex or rental home where you live? In many ways, Connecticut landlords are responsible for your safety and well-being at home.

According to the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, your landlord must provide you with a safe and habitable place to live, which in part covers the following aspects:

Clean and well-kept public areas – The walkways and common areas of an apartment complex or residential property must be free of debris and other factors that can cause an injury or illness. Walkways and staircases should be in good repair and clear of debris, ice, electrical cords or other things that can cause you to slip or trip. There should be adequate lighting in common hallways and outdoor areas.

Living areas that are free of vermin or pests – A rat, cockroach or wasp problem should be dealt with by your landlord. You should not have to live in a place that is infested with creatures that can spread illness or injure you or your children.

Utilities that are in good repair – You may be responsible for paying the water bill, but it is your landlord’s job to ensure the pipes are properly maintained and that the water heater works. The electrical wiring in your home and common areas should be in good condition, and safety issues should be dealt with immediately.

Additionally, it would be unlawful for your landlord to retaliate against a safety complaint by raising your rent, evicting you or otherwise penalizing you for standing up for your rights. Usually, an issue that cause an injury on residential property through no fault of your own would be the property owner’s responsibility.

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