In Queensland, Landlords are obliged to provide a safe home for their tenants in exchange for rent, in what’s called a ‘duty of care’. If the owner of a property doesn’t provide a fair duty of care, and a tenant is injured as a result of this, the tenant may be able to make a compensation claim.
Most Landlords take out public liability insurance, which usually covers them for damages if there is an accident in or on their property. But to make a claim, the tenant must prove the Landlord was legally liable for the accident. In the event of a personal injury, and you would like to make a public liability claim, it is important to seek legal advice, so you know your entitlements.
Avoiding Potential Accidents as A Tenant
If a Landlord doesn’t know that something is broken or faulty, they cannot carry out repairs and ensure their property is habitable. Therefore, it’s important to let either the Landlord or rental agent know as soon as there is a concern. Communicating any issues by text message, email or letter will maintain a record of any conversations. This way, if accidents or injuries do arise down the line, there is proof that they were notified of potential risks. Be descriptive and clear about the issue and how it could cause harm to the property’s inhabitants if left alone. Stick to facts rather than emotions so there is less room for confusion, and you can be clear about the situation.
When a problem arises, a Landlord is expected to use legitimate tradespeople to carry out repairs. Your Landlord shouldn’t try fixing the dodgy skylight with no prior experience, or call in a cheap tradie from Gumtree without finding out if they’re fully qualified first. Cutting corners in this way goes against their obligations as a Landlord.
What can the Landlord do to protect themselves from a claim?
The tenant isn’t the only one responsible for noticing hazards – the Landlord must be looking out for them too. Frequent inspections should be conducted to check the property is free from health hazards like mould, and that things such as leaks and breakages are actioned quickly. The owner of a property is also required to follow building and fire standards. These are in place to protect everyone from accident and injury.
- Install an electrical safety switch
- Ensure smoke alarms are regularly serviced and functional
- Ensure swimming pools and fencing are compliant
Are there any time constraints in making a claim?
Tenants have three years from the date of injury to make a public liability claim against a landlord. It is important that at the time of injury, the tenants contact the relevant authority, real estate or landlord. Photos of the scene of the accident along with any witness statements and contact details, are also useful in compiling a claim.
What will I be entitled to?
Your compensation claim and entitlements really depend on the severity of your personal injury, as well as any past and future medical experiences or loss of wages. The circumstances that led to your injury may also be considered, particularly if a claimant’s actions contributed to the accident. A court may order a proportionate award if both the tenant and landlord were at fault.
Cairns Compensation Lawyers can help advise you on how the legal claims process works. If you believe you are entitled to compensation from a Landlord, please contact our team.