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New Hampshire Landlord Liability for a Tenant’s Injuries

February 6, 2020

Under New Hampshire premises liability law, owners or occupiers of property can be liable for accidents and injuries that occur because of a dangerous condition on their property. Premises liability law mirrors general negligence principles, and, as such, victims must be able to establish that the individual or entity responsible for maintaining the property failed to address the hazardous condition reasonably.

Generally, New Hampshire law provides two ways for injury victims to establish liability in these cases. To recover for damages, plaintiffs must either prove that they suffered injuries because the defendant carelessly created a dangerous condition or because they failed to repair or warn the victim of the danger. The plaintiffs must be able to prove that the defendant had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition.

For example, recently, a national news source reported that a landlord was sentenced to prison after an illegal gas line on her property exploded. The explosion caused several injuries, two deaths, and two buildings to crumble. Reports indicate that the building’s landlord continued to rent and sublet units of the apartment complex, despite the gas company disapproving a gas line into the apartment complex. After tenants complained of smelling gas, the utility company turned off the gas. In response, the landlord began tapping gas from a neighboring building. The illegal system of pipes was hidden from gas company inspectors. The deadly explosion occurred when the landlord instructed two men to turn the gas back on after the gas company inspectors left the building.

In cases like this one, establishing that the landlord knew about the hazard is relatively straightforward; however, cases involving constructive notice can be more challenging. This often becomes an issue when the dangerous condition was inside the plaintiff’s unit. In these situations, plaintiffs can establish that the defendant had “constructive notice” of the hazardous condition. Constructive notice is a complex legal theory that allows a plaintiff to meet their burden by establishing that the property owner should have been aware of the dangerous condition if they engaged in reasonable diligence. To evaluate whether the defendant had constructive notice, the court will look to factors such as where the hazard was, the amount of time the risk existed, and the nature of the condition.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent New Hampshire Landlord?

If you or a loved has sustained severe injuries because of a negligent New Hampshire landlord, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your damages. The attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates have built their reputation over twenty years of obtaining excellent results on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys are highly trained and experienced litigators who understand that each client deserves personalized attention. New Hampshire premises liability lawsuits against landlords can be challenging, and we possess the skills and experience to overcome these hurdles to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Compensation in these cases typically includes payments for medical bills, lost wages, ongoing treatment, and loss of consortium. Contact our office for a free initial consultation at 800-804-2004.