The real estate manager and the owner are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the premises to reduce safety hazards. Types of hazards follow:
- Safety hazards related to trip and fall hazards, working and walking surfaces, ladders, scaffolds, and other personal climbing and elevated support devices
- Attractive nuisance hazards such as swimming pools or fountains, lakes, fences, or signs
- Safety hazards of using compressed gases, flammable or combustible materials, and other hazardous chemicals
- Chemical: toxins or agents that have immediate (acute) or long-term (chronic) health effects and can be inhaled, absorbed, ingested, or injected (e.g., liquids, dusts, mists, fumes, vapors, fibers)
- Biological: viruses, fungi, bacteria, mold, contaminated body fluids, sewage, etc.
- Electrical safety, including power and hand tools and lockout/tagout procedures
- Vehicular and pedestrian hazards
Causes of hazards:
- Deteriorating sidewalks and curbs
- Defective steps and handrails
- Rotting and weathered wood
- Slippery walks and falling tree limbs
- Broken glass, debris, and garbage
- Electrical systems
- Interior and exterior lighting
- Ladders and maintenance equipment
- Trash and discarded appliances
- Abandoned vehicles
- Holes in parking lots
- Slippery floors (Note that polished marble floors are very slippery, especially when water accumulates. Honed marble and tumble marble (rustic marble) are less slippery.)
Examples of the types of injuries for which tenants have recovered money damages due to lack of adequate repair and maintenance of the premises follow:
- Pesticides sprayed in common areas causes a tenant to get sick.
- Wet grass cuttings left on a common walkway cause a tenant to slip and fall, resulting in injury.
- A defective staircase or balcony causes a tenant to fall and suffer a broken leg.
- A puddle of oil-slicked rainwater in garage results in a tenant’s fall and injury.
- A damaged plug in the wall outlet causes a tenant to receive electrical burns.
- A defective heater causes a fire that injures a tenant and damages property.