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Landlords are liable only when they are negligent

Landlords can be liable when tenants are injured in a home or apartment, but they are only going to be held responsible in cases of negligence. Additionally, the injury and the negligent action of the landlord have to be directly linked.

Essentially, this is done to make sure that landlords are not sued for injuries that tenants brought upon themselves. It's also to protect tenants by ensuring that landlords will work hard to make sure that the property is safe before a tenant moves in.

For example, imagine that there is an electrical fire and the tenant is hurt. If the fire happened because a negligent landlord did not make sure that wiring was up to code or ignored requests from the tenant to look into a suspected problem, then the landlord could be liable. If the fire happened because of something outside of the landlord's control--perhaps the tenant plugged a faulty device into a safe outlet--then the tenant is liable.

It's also worth noting that landlords are supposed to be given a "reasonable amount of time" when asked to make any repairs. This is a bit of a gray area, so a judge in the case would have to examine when the first request was made and how long it should have taken for the repair to be made. For instance, if a house needs to be rewired, a tenant shouldn't expect that job to be done just an hour after putting in the request.

If you've been injured in a property in Illinois, make sure you know how negligence is defined and how liability is determined.

Source: FindLaw, "Liability for Tenant Injuries and Insurance for Landlords," accessed Feb. 03, 2016

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