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Is a Tenant a Licensee or Invitee? Can I Sue My Landlord for Premises Liability?

A Guide to Premises Liability Law in Los Angeles

The safety of visitors and residents of a property should be one of the primary areas of concern for owners. Premises liability is where property owners are liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their premises. When an individual gets hurt on another person’s property, premises liability claims arise quickly. One in ten lawsuits of premises liability occurs.

But what if you’re the renter of an apartment or complex? If you get hurt, you might be wondering who you can turn to for help. This article discloses information regarding your rights against a landlord and what you should do if you get hurt.


Like any property owner, landlords are responsible for anyone who lives on or visits the premises. As a renter, always be aware of the potential dangers. Common locations where you should remain observant are:

  • The building lobbies
  • Elevators
  • Staircases
  • Entrances and exits
  • Facilities (gym, standard rooms, pools)

Dangerous hazards pose a risk for everyone occupying these areas. When they do, a premises liability attorney in LA would advise you to report it immediately.

The same duty of care landlords exercise for you applies to anyone you bring to the building, including delivery persons, friends, family, or other acquaintances. We further explain each category below.

Licensees are persons allowed on the premises for interests or benefits and not the property owners. If injured, the licensee can retain a premises liability attorney in Los Angeles and sue. However, the property owner will only be liable if they fail to exercise reasonable care to make the conditions of the property safe.

Invitees usually visit the premises upon invitation. The same duty of care applies to them. That includes:

  • The property is safe for them to use
  • They give warning of any dangerous conditions or structures on the property.

For the invitee’s property liability claim to arise, they must demonstrate the landlord neglected the legal duties stated above. This liability requires an experienced attorney for mismanaged property in LA.

Trespassers are not always protected. Property owners have no legal obligation to protect a trespasser as they have no right to be on the premises. Though, there are various exceptions where a property owner is liable for trespassers injuries.

Children are sometimes unaware of the dangers that might be on the premises they visit. In case of injury, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney can assist in filing a claim, as the rules of exception to trespass apply to them.


Accidents that happen within your apartment are harder to recover compensation. As a renter, you are responsible for making sure your residence is appropriately maintained and safe for visitors. You can only bring a claim for premises liability if your landlord’s negligence caused your injury.

Suppose you live in an apartment with high mold levels or asbestos and contract an illness. Like getting hurt physically from a broken staircase or defective wiring, you can file a claim against the landlord. In most cases, our injury attorney in LA discovers landlords fail to fix reported dangerous conditions. Whether the landlord had control over the situation or the tenant hadn’t noticed it immediately, they are still liable for your damages.

Depending on the property, other frequent accidents can occur. They range from:

  • Falling on stairs or escalators
  • Accidents on elevators due to poor maintenance
  • Accidents from sharp objects and edges
  • Accidents from falling objects
  • Stampede from overcrowding
  • Fires
  • Accidents from broken windows and tiles
  • Victims from poor lighting in pathways

The other common accidents in resident buildings are chemical burns, faulty doors, assaults due to inadequate security, and swimming pool accidents.

As you enjoy your apartment, always be aware of the dangers around it.


Winning a premises liability case can be complicated and require highly experienced attorneys for premises liability claims. Be mindful of your lease contractual limitations that safeguard landlords from fault.

It is best to retrieve and keep the evidence for your case. That evidence can be in the form of:

Pictures. Take some photos of the hazard that caused your injury.
Accident report. Whenever an accident occurs, it is advisable to report it to the authorities. This report can help you win your case
Property records. The records will show the actual owner of the premises.
Witnesses. Eyewitnesses play an essential role in a court case. It is crucial to keep the names and contacts of the witnesses that were present when you were injured.
Hospital bills. The bills will help in determining how much you have spent treating the injuries. Hospital records will also show the extent of the damages obtained.


Your safety is important to us. At Grey Law, we can help build a strong case for your injuries. For a free legal consultation, reach out to our firm immediately.

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