As a tenant, your rights to a safe home are determined by the laws in your state that set out the landlord’s responsibility to provide a livable home. Iowa has adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant act, which generally provides that your landlord is responsible for providing a home that is generally safe and within the housing code guidelines of your city or county.
If your landlord has failed to provide you with a safe and habitable home, the landlord may be held liable.
Personal Injury Claims on a Property
We see cases of personal injury claims from accidents that happened around a home or rented property. Slips and falls are among the most common personal injury claims we see in these cases. When a landlord is negligent in maintaining a safe environment around the home, including stairways, he or she may be responsible for any injuries that occur as a result. When a tenant is injured because of such negligence, a landlord may be found liable for not maintaining that area properly or reasonably.
We also see a lot of lead poisoning cases, in which the landlord either failed to disclose his or her knowledge of lead on the property or failed to have it removed in accordance with local housing codes. In these cases, when a child or adult is injured due to exposure to lead, we seek to find out whether the landlord can be held liable for not maintaining a safe home. Most landlords know about the dangers of lead paint and know what lead paint looks like, even if they have not had their property tested for lead paint.
Within the Home
Many personal injury claims relate to a tenant’s safety in common areas, such as the walkway to the house or structural components of the property. This may include items within the home. However, a tenant’s rights to a safe home may include the appliances provided by the landlord. This could be determined in the rental agreement signed by the landlord and tenant. An Iowa personal injury lawyer should be able to tell you about your landlord’s duties and if the landlord neglected those duties.
When the Landlord is Liable
A landlord has the same obligations as any property owner – to keep their property safe – but also has additional obligations set in the Iowa Code. Some of the landlords duties can be found here.
It is up to the tenant, and his or her lawyer, to prove that the landlord was negligent or violated the Iowa Code. We work for our clients in personal injury claims to uncover that information.
Your rights as a tenant include a safe home. If you or someone you love has been injured as the tenant of a property, you should speak with an Iowa personal injury lawyer. Feel free to contact our office at (319) 826-2250.
The above information is meant to be helpful, but is not meant to replace the legal advice of an attorney with whom you have an attorney-client relationship.