If you slipped and fell or were otherwise injured because of a defect where you live at a rental property, the owner, landlord or property management company has a legal responsibility to respond to your complaint. All property owners and controllers must keep their premises safe from hazards and defects. They must also respond promptly to liability complaints. Take the following steps if your landlord has ignored a premises liability complaint in Kansas City.
Send Written Correspondence To Alert Landlord, Property Management Company
First, send written correspondence to your landlord or the property management company that is in charge of premises safety. In the letter, describe the property hazard, or your accident and injuries if you have already been injured. Do not admit fault for the accident. Include the date, time and exact location of the incident.
Note that if your injury occurred inside of your home, you would only have grounds to file a complaint against the landlord if a hazard inherent to the building caused your injury, such as a leaky pipe or structural collapse. The landlord is not responsible for keeping the inside of your apartment safe, but is responsible for common areas and the safety of the building.
Make a copy of your written letter for your own records. Then, submit it to the landlord or property management company. Give them about two weeks to respond to your letter. While you wait for a response, take photographs of the dangerous element before the landlord repairs it. If you do not hear anything back, make a phone call.
Alert Other Parties If Recording Conversations
Call your landlord or property management company and be prepared to record the conversation for your personal records. Be sure to alert the person who answers that you will be recording the conversation, as it is against the law to record someone without their knowledge. If you cannot record the conversation, write down everything that you can remember immediately after you hang up.
Document Everything For Personal Records
Document all correspondence to bolster your case. Keep a log of all correspondence that takes place between you and the landlord or property manager. This includes copies of any letters or notices that you receive and information about phone calls. Accurate recordkeeping can help you create a timeline of events to use on a premises liability lawsuit later. Gathering evidence that you submitted a complaint to your landlord and that he or she did not do anything to remedy the situation is important in proving that the landlord was negligent, or failed to use proper care.
Bring in a Third Party to Hold Your Landlord Accountable
If your landlord or the property management company continues to ignore your complaint, there are third parties that can step in to help you. If your situation is an emergency, such as a property defect that is endangering lives, call 911. Otherwise, you can use a source such as the National Rental Protection Agency to file a complaint against your landlord. The agency will review your complaint and contact the landlord or property manager to mediate a resolution. It is against the law for your landlord to retaliate against you for going to the Rental Protection Agency. Keep a copy of your complaint to use as evidence later, if necessary.
Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer
If outside help still does not result in a solution to your problem, or if you were injured because of a property hazard in your building in Kansas City, contact a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can take immediate steps to gather evidence and build a claim against the property owner or manager on your behalf. An attorney can help you go up against a party in pursuit of maximum financial compensation for your injury and related losses, including medical bills and property repairs. A successful premises liability lawsuit can hold your landlord or property management company accountable for failing to repair a hazard in a prompt manner.