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Housing codes and premises liability

Georgia cities and counties have housing codes in place in order to help make certain properties are kept in a safe and sanitary manner. The codes are designed to lessen the likelihood that another person will be injured when coming on to the property of an owner.

Property owners owe a duty of care to most people who come onto their property legally, whether to conduct business or as a social guest. Duties owed include the duty to maintain and repair known problems that could cause injury. Examples could include cracks in floors, exposed or outdated wiring and other similar hazards.

Without proper maintenance and repairs, property will deteriorate over time. A property owner who keeps abandoned vehicles or other unsafe conditions on his or her property will be in violation of the housing codes. Additionally, there is a danger that children or others coming on to the property will be injured as a result of the hazardous conditions.

A property owner who has failed to repair or maintain his or her property which results in injury to another person may in some cases be held responsible for that injury. Those who are injured due to hazardous conditions present on the property of another may be able to recover damages for their injuries by filing a premises liability lawsuit. Property owners who negligently maintain their properties place other people at risk of serious injury. People can also report property owners to the housing authorities for known problems. When people have been injured on the property of another person, they may benefit by consulting with an attorney who has experience in these types of matters.

Source: Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc., "Housing Codes", November 16, 2014

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