When a landlord and a tenant share a property in Ontario, both are responsible for keeping it free from hazards that could cause visitors to the property injuries in incidents like slips and falls. If the rental or lease agreement does not clearly indicate each party’s area of responsibility, both may be named defendants in any premises liability lawsuits filed by slip-and-fall victims.
Areas often overlooked by occupiers or owners of properties
Parking lots, driveways, ramps, stairs, aisles and other public spaces must be kept risk-free. The following hazardous conditions are frequently linked to premises liability lawsuits:
- Slippery surfaces like wet or highly polished tile flooring
- Ice and snow left to accumulate
- Walking surfaces with potholes, gaps, cracks or other damage
- Unexpected changes in elevation
- Stairways with loose or missing handrails
- Inadequate lighting
- Debris or randomly place objects in walkways or aisles
Injured victims of slip- or trip-and-fall accidents might be entitled to pursue financial relief through the civil justice system of Toronto. However, the legal proceedings to recover damages like medical expenses and other losses are complicated. The plaintiff will have to show that the landlord or tenant – or both – failed to maintain the necessary standard of care.
The following are the criteria the court will consider:
- Was the danger foreseeable?
- Did the defendant’s conduct meet the acceptable standard of practice?
- Was there an adequate inspection system of risks in place?
- Were such inspections carried out?
- For how long were the dangerous conditions allowed to exist?
- How difficult would it have been to prevent the dangers?
After considering these criteria of a lawsuit in pursuit of damage recovery after a slip-and-fall incident, an Ontario civil court might award a monetary judgment to cover documented losses of the plaintiff.