In most New Orleans premises liability lawsuits, who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the property is simple: it is the owner. If the owner was aware of a dangerous condition on the property and did not fix it, the owner will be liable for any injury caused by that dangerous condition. When it comes to leased property, however, this analysis can become a little more complicated.
Under Louisiana law, the landowner is generally liable for the condition of leased premises – in other words, the owner carries the same responsibility to remedy a dangerous condition on leased property as he or she would have on property not being leased. While this is the general rule, there are situations where the owner may shift responsibility for the condition of the property – and thus liability for a dangerous condition on the property – to the lessee. This may occur, for example, when a person renting a house signs a contract in which he assumes responsibility for maintaining the yard.
Even if such a contract exists, there are exceptions under which the landlord may still be held liable. Perhaps the most common of these exceptions would be defects that the landlord knew about – or would be expected to know about – and of which the lessee was not made aware. Other exceptions may include defects that by their nature seriously affect health or safety, and defects about which the landlord was specifically informed, but no effort was made to remedy the problem within a reasonable time.
If you have been injured due to a dangerous condition on rented property, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine who is responsible. Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER. We would be happy to help you.