Landlords and commercial property owners who fail to follow building codes when making repairs or improvements be held responsible if unsafe conditions injure guests.

Under Georgia law, property owners are responsible for maintaining their property in a reasonably safe condition for guests, customers and others who are on the property legally. If someone is injured due to an unsafe condition, the property owner may be liable for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

When property owners have to pay

Property owners are not automatically responsible if someone is injured on their premises. People have a responsibility to be careful. To recover compensation, injured people must show that they were injured due to an unsafe condition that the property owner either knew about or should have known about.

One example of an unsafe condition that property owners should know about are building code violations. Here are a few examples of code violations that can result in serious personal injury to guests:

  • Exceeding occupancy limits
  • Missing smoke alarms
  • Blocked exit doors
  • Nuisances such as debris or trash that has not been picked up
  • Defective stairs (such as missing handrails)
  • Electrical code violations
  • Installing appliances such as furnaces in a way that does not meet code requirements
  • Use of building materials that do not meet code
  • Use of flammable insulation
  • A pool that lacks a fence or self-locking gate
  • Sidewalk repairs that do not meet code requirements

A common source of building code violations are repairs made by the property owner or an unlicensed contractor. By saving money on repairs, property owners can expose themselves to a costly settlement or court verdict if someone is injured due to an unsafe condition.