Apartment tenants have the legal right to live in a place that is structurally sound and in good repair. When landlords ignore safety issues and put off making repairs, there is an increased risk of accidents and even death. All tenants should notify apartment management immediately if they see something that needs to be fixed or poses a danger to others.
Landlords are responsible to follow certain building codes and local laws to keep tenants safe. They must perform regular maintenance checks of the electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, ventilating, and heating systems and make necessary repairs. They must also supply clean and hot water, proper bins for trash, and keep walkways and stairways adequately lit and free from debris. When this doesn’t happen, tenants can be in danger.
The first thing tenants should do is report unsafe conditions to property management directly so repairs can be made in an expedient manner. If the landlord does not respond timely, the tenant may report to local building inspectors, who will follow up directly with the landlord and take action where needed. Tenants may even hire someone else to make the repairs and then deduct the repair costs from their monthly rent checks.
Safety is of utmost concern and for good reason. Some of the consequences of unsafe buildings include trips and falls, health issues from rat infestation, illness from unsafe water or sewage backup, and death or injuries due to fire. Due to the seriousness of the situation, when there is a fatal accident due to negligence, survivors will seek advice from a wrongful death attorney to have the incident investigated and pursue a negligence lawsuit.
Tenants deserve to feel safe and should never ignore or blow off needed repairs or safety concerns. Even before moving in, tenants should do a safety check of the building, and they must hold landlords accountable for their obligations to prevent dangers to everyone living there. Landlords must be diligent in not only maintaining the complex but also responding immediately to all safety concerns.