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Know what duties and responsibilities your landlord holds

Chicago residents who rent or lease a home sometimes feel they are at the mercy of their landlords. In a lived-in home, things can malfunction or simply stop working due to ordinary wear and tear. Often, this presents safety hazards to those who reside on the premises.

For example, say your home's electrical system wiring is outdated or simply worn out. A residential fire could occur, which may result in serious injuries or death. There may be warning signs that the system is in need of repair such as scorched electrical outlets, frequent circuit breaker tripping or dimming lights.

When your report these warning signs, your landlord has a duty to make timely repairs. If he or she fails to do so and injury occurs, you could have sufficient grounds to file a premises liability claim.

In another example, say the locks on your windows or doors have worn out and no longer work properly. In an urban city like Chicago, crime is a fact of life. Failing locks puts your family at risk for a home invasion. Again, as long as you report the faulty locks, your landlord is responsible for repairing or replacing them. If the landlord does not and someone is injured or killed during a break-in, a premises liability claim may again be an option.

In Chicago, property owners and landlords have a legal duty to keep their rental properties fit to live in and in good repair. Tenants who have suffered injury in a rental unit that lacks these measures can take steps to hold the property owner responsible. The next step for these victims is seeking premises liability counsel from an experienced injury attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Landlords' Duties Regarding Repairs, Maintenance, and to Provide Notice to Tenants for Entry," accessed April 07, 2017

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