The owners of Florida apartment complexes have certain duties to tenants and visitors. These duties generally require the property owner to keep the common areas of the complex safe. The law gives the owner different responsibilities with regard to different groups of people.
Anyone entering the premises for business reasons or as a social guest is entitled to a high duty of care by the landlord. The owner of the complex must correct or warn of any dangers that he is aware of as well as most dangers that the owner should be aware of if they use reasonable care to inspect the property. This typically means sidewalks, railings, lights and stairs should be kept in working order.
The property must also be maintained in such a way as to keep these visitors reasonably safe from foreseeable criminal assault or activity by third parties. The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled against a property owner who failed to fix a gate that may have kept a criminal out and prevented two murders. Because previous crimes had occurred in the complex due to people entering through the broken gate, there was adequate notice to the property company that the situation was dangerous. In the eyes of the court, this crime was foreseeable.
Trespassers and other uninvited persons do not have the same rights to protection. The property owner must simply refrain from willfully or wantonly causing injury to these people.
In some cases, an injury in an apartment may be the fault of the tenant. If a guest comes over to visit and trips over a wire within the apartment unit or slips on a freshly mopped kitchen floor, the tenant may be liable for failing to warn or failing to keep their property safe for the visitor.
If you have been hurt in an apartment or on the grounds of a Florida apartment complex, you need the assistance of an experienced premises liability attorney. To learn your rights and your options after an injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Bradenton law firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.