You've probably heard that your landlord has to maintain your rental property. Naturally, most landlords want to do this to keep the property's value high and protect their investment. However, there is also a legal obligation to do a number of things to keep you safe. These things include:
-- Ensuring that the residence has working smoke alarms. These must be functional devices that have passed nationally recognized tests.
-- Providing functional keys and locks.
-- Ensuring that the utilities work properly. For instance, the residence must have hot water, running water and a device to provide heat in the colder winter months.
-- Keeping all of the common areas -- such as the lobby in an apartment building -- in good condition. This means they have to be clean and safe.
-- Making sure that the building passes all of the state's health codes.
In short, the landlord must do his or her part to ensure that you're free from all health hazards. You deserve a clean, safe place to live where you don't have to worry about accidents, illness or other injuries.
It is worth noting, though, that landlords are not said to be responsible when tenants are negligent or take direct action that puts them in danger. For instance, if the landlord installs proper smoke alarms and the tenant removes them, the landlord has then done all that is possible and is no longer responsible for injuries suffered due to the lack of an alarm system.
Do you feel like your landlord has been negligent, perhaps not taking care of the property or ignoring your maintenance requests? This could violate your rights, especially when your basic health and safety are in jeopardy, and you need to know your legal options.
Source: Florida Legislature, "The 2016 Florida Statutes," accessed Jan. 06, 2017