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Who Is Liable for Injuries at a Rental Home?

By Renee Nordstrand on June 28, 2021

Airbnb and other vacation rental companies have become an increasingly popular way for people to rent out vacation homes, and more people than ever are flocking to the California coast. With the growing usage of these rental companies, there are more injuries than ever before — and these incidents raise important questions about liability that don’t factor into most vacation plans: if a renter is injured while staying at someone else’s home, who is at fault — the renter or the owner?

Whoever may be at fault, one thing is certain: their insurance company won’t want to pay out what the claim is really worth. If you are the victim, it is important to have a skilled team of Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys by your side to negotiate on your behalf. An injury may result in various setbacks and financial burdens, and no one should have to face such struggles alone.

Types of Rental Home Accidents

While different types of accidents may occur on rental properties, some are more common than others. In our decades of experience, we’ve often seen guests injured due to:

  • Damaged or broken stairways: Staircases that are not properly maintained or lack proper handrails may result in severe falls, with multiple fractures.
  • Defective or hazardous appliances: Before the property owner allows renters onto the premises, he should make sure all appliances are in safe working condition. Failing to alert potential renters of faulty appliances could cause an electrical accident or other type of incident, which could be fatal.
  • Uneven flooring or carpet: Any type of hazard that can cause a slip, trip, or fall should be properly repaired. These hazards may include cracked floors, plumbing leaks resulting in slippery surfaces, defective handrails, and other possible dangers.
  • Animal attacks: Renters should be aware of any animals in or around the premises. If the neighbor has a vicious dog, this animal should be secured, and proper measures taken to safeguard the rental property.
  • Poor security measures: Before any guest sets foot in an Airbnb, every security measure, such as locks on the doors and windows, should be in working order. Failing to do so may result in possible break-ins, attacks, and serious consequences.
  • Bad lighting: The property owner failing to provide adequate lighting in staircases and hallways can result in trip-and-fall incidents. Lack of lighting outside can also be dangerous, depending on the layout of the land and neighborhood.

In addition to the above details, the property should receive overall maintenance to keep the premises safe and free of hazards before it is rented out to guests.

Who Is to Blame for a Rental Property Accident?

Whether an injury occurs on the grounds of a resort, hotel, rented apartment, or Airbnb, who is at fault depends on who was negligent – and can be legally proven negligent. If a prior Airbnb renter damaged a balcony railing, for example, and the owner didn’t repair it before renting to another guest, who leaned on the balcony and fell, suffering serious trauma, the owner should be held legally responsible. The more evidence the injured person can gather to prove that the property owner knew about a dangerous problem, but didn’t fix it, the stronger his or her case will be.

Compensation for Renters in Santa Barbara

After any accident on rented property, you should receive required medical attention, which can be costly. If your injuries are severe, you can add to that lost wages and the value of other damage you are likely to incur. If you believe the property owner allowed a hazardous condition to exist on the property, one that you weren’t warned about, chances are you have a good case for compensation. Our team of Santa Barbara premises liability attorneys at NordstrandBlack PC will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (805) 962-2022 for a free consultation.

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