What are the signs of legally actionable dangerous property conditions?
Whether you have purchased or rented property, you expect to live in safe and adequate conditions. There is a difference between a home that needs some work and a property on the verge of disrepair. With that in mind, you might find that the property you own/rent is not up to the standard expected. When that happens, it is worth opening an investigation with the help of a legal professional. In the right circumstances, you could have a valid premises liability claim.
Before hiring a legal expert, you should take a closer look at what might constitute dangerous property.
Always ensure the building meets state building codes
Your first sign that a property might not be fit for purpose will be the presence of violations in the state building code. For example, the California Building Code offers clear guidelines for what a building has to offer. This is both a state and local protection. It is designed to ensure that the owner of the property, or the contractor, cannot disregard and ignore violations of this code.
This means that properties which violate the code are more likely to suffer from issues like foundational collapse, mold, and more. These claims can be brought against the state, the county, or the city in which you reside. You will need to research your state building code, but it will give you a clear idea of whether or not you might have a case.
When ‘attractive hazards’ take place
Another common sign that property is actionable is when it has the presence of ‘attractive hazards’ – hazards that are likely to draw children’s attention. For example, a swimming pool not in use should be covered-up. A guard dog should be marked and properly chained so it cannot inadvertently assault passers-by.
Essentially, buildings have specific regulations that should be used to avoid children and others being attracted to sources of danger.
When an assault takes place that should have been avoided
If you live in an apartment block with a secure door, you should feel safe at home. However, if negligent security parameters mean that someone can break through, then you should be given some kind of support. Property owners are expected to ensure a safe and secure landscape. If security is easily avoided or overcome, then it is on the property owner to fix this problem.
If you are the victim of an attack on a location that is supposed to be secure and safe, you could be entitled to some kind of compensation afterward.
Some red flags point to a building as potentially dangerous or unsuitable. You should consider flagging this with a legal professional if this is the case. Hopefully, they can assist you in making sure you can get some form of protection and compensation. Building standards and regulations exist for a reason; do not ignore them, and take action where you can.