Are Landlords Liable For Injuries Occurring After Sale of the Rental Premises?
THE GENERAL RULE: TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP TERMINATES THE FORMER OWNER’S LIABILITY
Generally speaking, people who transfer ownership of property are no longer liable for accidents, damage, or dangerous conditions on the property after the date of sale. This applies (for the most part) even to dangerous conditions which existed before or at the time of sale–assuming the injury takes place after the sale is complete.
LANDLORDS MAY STILL BE LIABLE FOR INJURIES OCCURRING PRIOR TO THE SALE
If the landlord transfers ownership of the property after the injury or damage occurs, but before a lawsuit is filed, the landlord may still be responsible to the tenant or other injured party. If you find yourself in this situation, consult an attorney immediately. It may be difficult to document the existence of dangerous conditions if the new owner renovates or repairs the building.
Injuries occurring prior to the date of sale, when the landlord still owned the building, may fall within the scope of the former landlord’s liability–assuming the injured plaintiff can prove the existence of a duty, breach of that duty, causation, and damages.
AFTER SALE OF THE PROPERTY, THE FORMER LANDLORD’S LIABILITY IS HIGHLY LIMITED.
The general rule states that transfer of ownership relieves the landlord of liability for injuries occurring after the sale date. However, if a landlord willfully conceals or fails to disclose the existence of known dangerous conditions to the purchaser, the law will sometimes hold the landlord liable for injuries to tenants or others occurring after the sale of rental property. This liability doesn’t last for long, however. Liability for failure to disclose a dangerous condition normally lasts only until the new owner knows or should have known about the condition or defect. After that, liability passes to the new owner of the property.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice to any person or entity, and does not create an attorney-client relationship with any person or entity. Landlord-tenant law, including premises liability, is a complex legal topic, and no single article can provide complete or comprehensive coverage or information about this or any other legal topic or issue. Your personal liability may differ, based on your individual facts and circumstances. If you believe you have a legal claim or issue, or wish to know more about your individual rights, consult an experienced attorney without delay.