To make your business resilient against the troubles of liability issues, it is important that you maximize the advantage of having a property manager; meaning to get assistance from the company’s lawyer, use everything you see as a potential tool, and set up the insurance to lessen your possible liabilities. All of these processes are somehow complex and of course, nobody likes to be bothered by these issues.
When a tenant is harmed, for example, he or she does not wish to experience that circumstance. Likewise, every landlord also does not wish for accidents to happen. But sometimes troubles really occur and the best way to protect oneself as a landlord is to learn every way to circumnavigate the scope of the law, with respect to ethics, of course. Also, document everything, make a clear analysis of the situation and equip yourself with knowledge related to legal matters.
Signing a waiver form
In some situations, a landlord may use a release or waiver form to get rid itself of potential liability. This is done by signing a waiver form that waives the tenant’s right to sue the landlord for any injury that might occur within the property. This is effective especially when the tenants include young children or if the property itself has several areas that are potentially dangerous renters. This is, however, invalid in many states but to be absolutely sure, do some inquiry in your area regarding the specific rules for this matter. Remember that usually, a tenant does this to ensure medical assistance.
More often, a landlord may avoid costly legal processes after an injury occurs by obtaining a so-called post-injury release. This is another way to obtain a waiver for all potential claims, including future claims, in exchange for paying the medical bills. Therefore to avoid the expensive costs, the landlord must effectively approach the potential plaintiff, who has been injured, by offering to shoulder the medical bills. But to have more specific information regarding this part, talk with the insurance lawyers who are catering this kind of matter.
Insurance and lease
In addition to waiver forms, good insurance policies and a well-delivered lease will help you clear off unnecessary conditions. Of course, if comes an unfortunate event when the landlord has to face legal complaints and fines; this may affect the business negatively. A well-crafted lease plus the use of waivers can help the owner avoid spending a huge amount of money from the tedious legal processes and from the expensive hospital bills themselves. However, sometimes the law also favors the tenant therefore make sure by knowing the specific laws in your area, you can choose the best response. Time is money too so don’t lose them. Always remember.
In addition, you may also try to look for charitable immunity. This may protect you from potential complaints such as claims of negligence. Typically, the landlord is held responsible for any dangerous condition on the property, therefore to avoid further troubles, the agreement should be clearly stated to the tenants on the lease. The landlord may specify the maintenance rules especially in delegating the responsible persons who will take care of the general upkeep of the property, including regular inspections, repair, and modification. All of these should be done on a consistent basis. During the time of the lease, especially, the tenant must follow these rules, or else there might be a consequence based on the agreed clause. Remember, the lease serves as a contract to protect you and the tenant from unwanted penalties therefore it is important no one violates them.
Finally, there is another one called the “indemnification clause”. This includes a provision protecting the landlord from any responsibility towards complaints of negligence during the term of the lease. However, to assure the facilitation of safety for both parties, the landlord and the tenant should provide clear, understandable, and detailed instructions on the operation of the facilities and how to respond when problems occur. For example, limiting the portion of the premises allowed for the tenants to avoid the chances of accidents. In the lease, make sure to clearly state the boundaries for the tenant or clearly identify for them certain off-limit areas to lessen the chances for potential safety problems. In this way, potentially hazardous zones will not be available for them to access.