Local Solicitors specialising in Compensation for Slips, Trips and Falls in Rented Property
When you rent your home from a landlord, they do pass certain obligations over to you, but ultimately, the Landlord remains legally obliged to ensure your home is reasonably safe. So, if you have sustained an injury due to a slip, trip or fall that you believe was the fault of your landlord, you are entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
MG Legal’s team of Landlord Personal Injury Claim specialists are well-versed in dealing with all manner of incidents where Landlord’s haven’t repaired their property, or where they have had work done but it is unsafe for you, the tenant.
As your local solicitors specialising in personal injury claims, we aim to accept all personal injury and medical negligence claims on a Conditional Fee (No Win No Fee) basis, to ensure you have access to expert representation, and can pursue a claim for personal injury against your landlord, without needing to worry about the fees.
Who or what is classed as a Landlord?
A Landlord is anyone, or any company, who rents a property to you. Landlords can be individuals, groups of people, small companies, large companies, Housing Association or the Local Authority such as the Council. No one type of Landlord is more obliged to look after you than another and whoever, or whatever your Landlord is, you are always entitled to the same level of protection under the Law.
What is a Landlord Personal Injury Claim?
A claim for personal injury against a landlord can simply be described as any claim against your Landlord for injuries suffered due to their negligence. Think of it like this- when you pay money to your landlord for rent, you have rights, some of which are known as Statutory Rights, which are detailed in Legislation such as the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or the Defective Premises Act 1972 and often each tenant will have additional rights, known as Contractual Rights, depending on the content of your particular Tenancy Agreement.
Additionally, in some instance there is what is known as a Common Law liability to perform certain action on the part of the landlord. Common law can briefly be summarised as “something that has always been the case” meaning it does not need to be written into Legislation of Contract as it is universally accepted to be that way.
If your Landlord does not keep to their side of the Tenancy Agreement, or if they do not act in line with your Statutory Rights and as a result you sustain a personal injury, you are likely able to make a claim against your Landlord for Personal Injury Compensation. This claim can include not only compensation for your injuries but also other losses including lost earnings, treatment costs, travel costs, care costs and in some cases, a partial rent refund.
It is important to note that there is a line, which the Court of Appeal set in a particular case of Alker v Collingwood, in that there is no duty on a Landlord to make a premises “absolutely safe” and that a duty to “repair” is not always a duty to eliminate every conceivable danger. This goes hand-in-hand with an obligation that any Tenant will act reasonable so as to look after themselves in the course of their daily life whilst in the property.
Should you, the Tenant, take all reasonable steps to look after yourself and the property, it is highly likely that if you do subsequently sustain injury the Landlord will be liable to compensate you for your injuries and associated losses.
Our solicitors specialising in injury claims against landlords obtain guidance from court of appeal cases, such as the 2019 case of Rogerson v Bolsover District Council. Whilst the case of Rogerson pertains to a claim made by a tenant against the council, our personal injury experts can advise that Rogerson’s implications also apply to private tenancies.
in the case of Rogerson, Mrs Rogerson, a tenant of the council, suffered a serious personal injury after falling down an inspection cover, put in place by the water company, but on the grounds of the property that she rented from the council. The cover of the inspection cover was corroded in her garden collapsed when she stood on it while mowing the lawn, resulting in her partly falling into the sewage drain.
As a result of the fall, Mrs Rogerson suffered personal injury, and, through her local solicitor for personal injury claims, Mrs Rogerson sued her landlord for personal injury and loss of earnings.
Various objections to the claim were brought by the Defendant landlord; including, attempting lay blame at the door of the water company. The question for the courts to decide was, can a landlord be held liable in these circumstances?
MG Legal’s solicitors that handle personal injury claims against landlords, are very happy to report that the Court of Appeal found that indeed liability did rest with the landlord, even though section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 does not place an obligation on a landlord to carry out regular inspections. The Court, happily, took the common -sense approach when making its ruling and despite the landlord having carried out an inspection of the premises, including the garden, a number of weeks prior to Mrs Rogerson taking occupation, that the landlord had failed to take reasonable care to inspect, as the corroded inspection cover could easily have been discovered. A landlord’s duty does not end within the four walls of the rented house, but to the garden, and any land that belongs to the rented property.
It remains the case therefore that whether a system of regular inspections is required will depend on the specifics of the case and the known or likely risks at the property, so the court concluded that “an overly restrictive approach as to the extent of section 4 would be contrary to its purpose.”
What is a Landlord Slip, Trip or Fall Personal Injury Claim?
One of the most common types of injury that MG Legal’s Landlord Personal Injury Claims Solicitors see is injury from slips, trips and falls. This is because the most common defects include either floorboards, paving or tiling that is broken, mis-shapen or missing, creating a tripping hazard - other issues can include handrails on stairs and entrances or exits which have come loose or detached altogether, meaning an innocent loss of balance can turn into a nasty fall. Other issues can include burst or leaking pipes that make an area slippery, and therefore create a slipping hazard, to the tenant.
Some common types of Landlord Slip, Trip and Fall Personal Injury Claims including those that MG Legal have recently assisted clients with are:
A lady who tripped due to a missing floorboard which remained unrepaired after several requests for a repair;
A gentleman who fell whilst carrying items upstairs due to a missing bannister on the stairs. The Landlord had reattached the bannister several times to the same place on the wall and so, it would fall off again in a matter of days;
A gentleman who fell on the front path of his home due to workmen instructed by his Landlord leaving the lid off a drain;
A gentleman who fell due to a poorly constructed set of outside stairs. No warning signs were placed out to tell Tenants not to use the stairs;
A lady who cut herself tripping over a broken floor tile despite reporting it to the Housing Association;
A gentleman who suffered cuts and bruises, when his landlord failed to use safety glass in the front door of his property.
It is important to remember that in life, things to break in time and just because a defect develops, or a repair needs to happen this is not an immediate right to make a claim for personal injury against your landlord, even if you are injured. As the Tenant, you must inform your Landlord, or their Agent, of the problem and assist them with access to repair the problem. If your Landlord does not make the repair in good time and you subsequently are injured, this is likely a breach of your Landlord’s duty and at this point, you should contact a reputable, local Landlord Personal Injury Solicitor such as MG Legal. If our local personal injury solicitors accept your claim for personal injury compensation, we will do so on a No Win No Fee basis, with no financial risk to you.
What type of injuries can you sustain in a Landlord Slipping or Tripping Accident?
As ever, there is no legal limit on the injuries you can claim for and every claim is unique. For this reason, MG Legal’s Landlord Personal Injury Solicitors will treat you as an individual to ensure you receive not only the service you deserve but the precise advice and assistance you need. With that said, often incidents that include Silps, Trips and Falls can often cause the following types of injury:
Hand and wrist injuries including broken wrists and dislocated fingers.
Shoulder injuries such as jarred shoulders, rotator cuff injuries and subluxation
Head or facial injuries should you be unfortunate to hit your head either on the way down or on the floor
Lower back injuries from being jarred as you fall or from trying to catch yourself as you fall
Broken ankle injuries where your foot ‘catches’ in the defect as you fall
Hip and knee injuries such as muscular injuries and meniscal or ligamentous tears
Foot and toe injuries such as metatarsal fractures from falling into a hole or gap in flooring
Chest and rib injuries due to a fall
Whatever your injuries you will find MG Legal’s Personal Injury Solicitors that accept No Win No Fee injury claims against landlords, have access to the right medical experts to assess your injuries and to ensure that the right level of compensation can be agreed for your claim. Here at MG Legal, we do not ‘pigeonhole’ our clients and each is treated as we would wish to be treated as a client. You will have only a very small team, likely two people, working on your case from start to finish and so, when you get in touch you can rest assured that the person you speak to will know your claim and your evidence fully.
What should I do if I am injured in my rented property?
MG Legal’s specialist Landlord Personal Injury Solicitors work best when you have comprehensive evidence of the problem you are complaining about. Whilst we do not expect you to build your own case, certain items of information cannot be created later and such things can be very useful. Because of this, we recommend you keep hold of the following:
A copy of your Tenancy Agreement
Any pictures of the defect/dangerous area, dated if possible
Any emails, text messages or letters to and from your Landlord or their agent about the problem including anything about repairs
Any evidence of your injuries including images and hospital/doctor’s letters
Details of any witnesses to the defect, actions (or inaction) of your Landlord, the incident itself or any other important events.
Anything else you believe may be relevant
After this, we strongly recommend that you contact MG Legal and ask to speak to one of our No Win No Fee Personal Injury Specialists. All of our initial investigation work is carried out free of charge and we will ensure that you are kept fully informed of all aspects of the case, including what we may need from you.
Provided we are satisfied you have a strong claim, we will provide you with a copy of our Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee agreement) to progress your claim. With your cooperation, we can assure you that we will do everything possible to ensure your claim succeeds and that you receive full compensation in line with your injuries and any other losses.
What laws protect tenants from being injured in rented accommodation?
The laws of England and Wales are often very strange things indeed. Historically, our laws offered very little, if any real protection for tenants, from the errant actions of their landlords. Cases such as Cavalier v Pope  AC 428, illustrate the very robust approach of the common law back in the early 20th Century, at which point in time, landlords had no liability at common law for defects in premises let by them. The rationale for this was that since the landlord owed no liability beyond any undertaken in the lease to his tenant for the condition of the premises, he could not owe a duty to those who came onto the premises.
In Cavalier v Pope, the landlord knew that the premises were dilapidated when he let them to the tenant, and had covenanted with his tenant to repair them, but never got around to doing so. However, when the tenant’s wife suffered injury by reason of the state of the premises, of which she too was aware, her claim against the landlord failed because she was a stranger to the contract.
So, the starting position at common law is that a landlord of premises owes a duty in respect of those premises to his tenant only, and then only to the extent that he had undertaken an obligation to the tenant
in the lease.
Indeed, the common law position still stands as long as the defect in question is not of the landlord’s own making and he has parted with possession of the premises to his tenant. In the case of Boldack v E Lindsey, the landlord escaped liability for injury caused to a small boy when a large flagstone left propped against the side of the property fell over. The Court of Appeal held that a landlord is no longer liable for the state of the premises once he has handed over possession to the tenant, even if he knew of a pre-existing defect at the time of parting with possession.
By contrast, in the case of Rimmer v Liverpool City Council the Court of Appeal determined that a landlord will be liable where he has done work so as to create the defect that gives rise to a foreseeable risk of injury. The tenant had complained to his council landlord about a thin plate glass door in his home, which had been constructed by the defendant council. The council had argued that it was not required to rectify an inherent defect in the design of the premises, since such defect did not amount to a state of disrepair. In due course the tenant tripped and fell and put his hand through the plate glass door. The injured tenant sued, and his claim for personal injury against the landlord, succeeded.
Luckily, this is the 21st Century, and the common law is far more clement to those who suffer personal injury, in rented accommodation; and is bolstered by the Defective Premises Act 1972, and the Occupiers Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984.
Our local personal injury solicitors are also glad to report that the standard of care expected of a landlord should be greater than the average or ‘reasonable’ level. For instance if young children are involved, as they are less able to assess risks and avoid danger. Similarly, if you are renting to people who do not speak English as a first language it could be argued that, as the landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure warning signs are provided in the tenants’ language.
How does the Defective Premises Act help an injured tenant?
Under section 1 of the Defective Premises Act 1972, people who carry out work to a property on or after 1 January 1974, or who are connected with such work (for example landlords, builders, architects, surveyors, and specialist subcontractors), are under a duty to ensure that the work is:
done in a professional manner
done using proper materials, and
fit for habitation when completed.
What does ‘Fit for habitation’ mean in relation to a rented property?
The term 'fit for habitation' is not defined in the Defective Premises Act 1972, and it cannot be assumed that it has the same meaning as 'fit for human habitation' of section 604 of the Housing Act 1985. It is probable that the common law definition will apply. This has been defined by case law and includes:
safety for occupation
sufficient water supply
free from infestation by bugs or pests
free from infection.
Extent of the duty
Subject to Section 3 of the Defective Premises Act 1972, The duty of care is owed to the tenant of a rented property, by people who carried out any repair, maintenance, construction, demolition or other work in relation to a property, or by people who are connected with such work (including landlords, builders, architects, surveyors and specialist subcontractors) for work that was carried out prior to the disposal or letting of the property. The duty is particularly strong, and the person who carries out (or is connected with) the work must ensure that the work is done properly, as they will not be able to argue, as a defence, that it was 'reasonable' to believe that the work was adequate.
The duty is owed to:
the person for whom the property was provided
subsequent tenants and owners, and
anyone else who has a legal or equitable interest in the property.
Under section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972, when the tenancy gives the landlord an implied, or express obligation, to repair or maintain a property, or the landlord has a right to enter the property he rents out, to carry out certain repairs, then the landlord owes a duty of care to ensure that all people who could reasonably be affected by 'relevant defects' in the state of the premises are reasonably safe from personal injury or damage to their property resulting from the defects. The duty of care owed by the landlord, under Section 4 of the Defective Premises Act 1972, applies to the person to whom the landlord has let the property, members of the tenant’s household, and even visitors to the property. To be liable for personal injury to the tenant, members of the tenant’s household, or any visitors to the rented property, the landlord must know of the defect, or ought to know of the relevant defect’.
The Defective Premises Act 1972 states the legal obligation for landlords to prevent their tenants from suffering injury from property defects. Some of the more common defects to be aware of include:
No handrails/damaged handrails on staircases
Loose plaster – particularly on ceilings
Landlords are also responsible for any defects in communal areas of rental properties as well as those in outdoor areas e.g. potholes on a driveway, paths etc.
Occupiers’ Liability Acts 1957 & 1984
In general, a landlord who has parted with all possession of his premises to his tenant will cease to be an occupier and will, therefore, cease to have any liability for the condition of the premises under the provisions of the Acts, even though he might have retained a repairing obligation.
If you are a tenant in a rented property, the Occupiers’ Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984, the landlord will only be considered the occupier of rented property if he or she, has retained control of it- therefore meaning that the landlord cannot and will not, fall within the scope of the 1957 or 1984 Acts, where the tenant has exclusive possession. If a landlord has retained control of certain parts of the property, such as stairways, the landlord will be regarded as the occupier of this part. Therefore, the tenant would owe a duty of care in respect of the part of the property of which he has exclusive possession, and the landlord would owe the duty in respect of the other areas.
An occupier of premises owes the same ‘common duty of care’ to all of his visitors, due to section 2(1) of the 1957 Act. Under section 2(2), the common duty of care is a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.
An occupier must be prepared for children to be less careful than adults, but can expect a person to appreciate and guard against any special risks ordinarily incident to the exercise of his calling. (Section 2(3)).
Does the Occupiers' Liability Act 1984 help tenants of rented property?
Persons who are not visitors as have not been given the occupier’s permission to be on his premises are not afforded the same degree of protection against dangers on the property. Under the 1984 Act, the duty owed by the occupier is a duty to take such care as is reasonable in the circumstances of the case to see that persons on the property do not suffer injury by reason of a danger (section 1(4)).
However, under section 1(3) this duty arises only where:
the occupier is aware of, or has reasonable grounds to believe that a danger exists;
the occupier knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that the person on the premises is in the vicinity of this danger or may come into the vicinity of the danger (whether or not the other has authority to be in the vicinity), and
the risk is one which, in all the circumstances of the care, the occupier may reasonably be expected to offer the other some protection.
The occupier will discharge his duty where he takes reasonable steps to give warning of the danger concerned or to discourage people from incurring the risk (section 1(6)).
Why use MG Legal for my Landlord Personal Injury Claim?
MG Legal’s Personal Injury specialists have decades of combined experience in the field and as stated above, we back ourselves to win every case we accept. A Conditional Fee Agreement means we only get paid for our work if we bring your claim to a successful conclusion. We believe that our success rate of over 99% speaks for itself and that this gives our clients confidence that once we start work, we will not stop until the case is over and that the chances of success are incredibly high.
Get in touch with us today, for a no-nonsense, no obligation informal discussion about your claim and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.