Tenants choose to live in an apartment for a variety of reasons, including the convenience of having a superintendent available to maintain the premises and fix items when they break. When a superintendent is negligent in these duties, however, tenants can be injured and may have a claim under premises liability law.
Superintendents are commonly on call most hours of the day and night to respond to tenants’ needs and depending on the apartment complex, they may have a variety of duties.
They must keep the property clean including sweeping and mopping, are responsible for shoveling snow from walkways, sidewalks, driveways and salting icy patches and usually also perform general maintenance.
Maintenance may include routine upkeep of the property like checking door and window locks, testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and addressing heating, cooling and plumbing issues.
When a superintendent does not perform these duties or does so negligently, the tenant may have a claim for damages if he or she is injured by an unsafe condition.
In order to successfully prove a premises liability claim, the tenant must demonstrate that he or she was lawfully on the property, that the owner of the property knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the property and failed to repair it or warn of it and the negligence caused the tenant’s injury.
Tenants should seek medical care, if applicable, and document the circumstances of their injury. An experienced attorney can provide representation to the injured tenant and pursue compensation on his or her behalf.