As a general rule, Landlords must exercise reasonable care in the use and maintenance of the property so that no one is injured. If a Tenant or his/her guests are injured due to the Landlord’s negligence in maintaining the property, then the Tenant can sue the Landlord for money damages. The tenant must always show injury to herself, another resident, or a guest, but the level of negligence a tenant must show varies, causing confusion. If the landlord makes the repair as a favor (i.e. the landlord is not contractually bound to do so), the tenant may only recover by showing that the landlord made the repair in a grossly negligent manner. If the landlord has agreed to make repairs as part of the lease, then the tenant can recover upon a showing that the landlord has made repairs in a negligent manner (strangely enough, if the landlord does not make the requested repair at all and injury results, the tenant has only a contract claim). Finally, if the landlord retains control over the area in need of repair (e.g., a common porch or common area), the tenant can recover upon a showing that the landlord was negligent in her failure to discover or properly repair the condition.
5. Violation of Anti-Discrimination Provisions
Landlords must not make housing decisions based on a potential tenant’s race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, active military status, receipt of public or rental assistance, blindness, hearing impairment, or other handicap. Landlords also must not run rental advertisements suggesting a preference related to any of the above listed characteristics. Finally, with a couple of limitations, landlords must not make rental decisions based on the fact that a potential tenant has a child.