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A property owner must take care of a property to make it safe

You were so excited to go on a vacation that you hurried to your vacation rental a few hours early. You and your kids were thrilled when you saw the home. It looked amazing from the outside, and you laughed as your children ran toward the stairs to the porch.

What happened next was unexpected. As your youngest child stepped on a stair around halfway up to the porch, the step gave away. His leg went through, and you had to rush over as he screamed for help. He was badly cut, and you ended up calling 911 to get him cut out of the step.

This is just one example of an unsafe premises that should have been better maintained. It's shocking that any rental would have stairs that would totally give away beneath a renter. It takes time for mold or rotting to lead to that kind of damage, so you can't believe that the owner didn't know anything about it.

What should you do? Is the owner of the premises liable for what happened?

Owners of vacation rentals may be liable for injuries suffered on their premises. As a temporary tenant, you're owed a certain amount of safety on that premises. The owner of the property needs to keep it well-maintained and to guarantee that you won't be injured by damaged areas on the property.

Property owners have a duty to maintain common areas, to warn you of dangers that they're aware of or should be aware of, and to make sure your dwelling is safe to live in while you have a short-term lease. If they don't take steps to keep the premises safe, then you may be able to hold them accountable for any accidents or injuries that result from their negligence.

A landlord or property owner's negligence may be a little difficult to prove, but you should be able to if you can show that the owner had a duty to fix a dangerous area of the property, they were negligent by failing to do so and that their negligence directly led to injuries and financial damages.

In this case, you'd be able to show that repairing the stair was reasonable and could have prevented your child's pain and suffering. You should also show that you suffered financial losses as a result of failing to maintain the property up to the high level that is expected.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

  • Rated by | Super Lawyers | John M. McCabe | SuperLawyers.com
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  • National Association of distinguished counsel | Nation's Top one percent 2017 | NADC
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  • Best Law Firms in North Carolina 2018
  • Nations's Premier | Top Ten Attorney Personal Injury | NAOPIA
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The Law Offices of John M. McCabe, P.A.
1130 Kildaire Farm Road
Suite 230
Cary, NC 27511

Toll Free: 877-320-1851
Phone: 919-899-9852
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