Did you know that under Colorado law, your landlord can be liable if he or she fails to protect you from dangers in your rental apartment? The basis for the liability lies in Colorado’s premises liability statute, which is the sole remedy available against Colorado landowners for injuries sustained on their property.
Colorado landlords’ duty
Colorado’s premises liability statute obligates landlords to protect tenants from damages caused by a landlord’s failure to exercise reasonable care. Because tenants are classified as invitees, the duty of reasonable care extends both to known harm and harm that the landlord should have prevented. The premises liability statute also requires landlords to maintain their property in a habitable or livable state, which includes providing:
- Waterproofing and weatherizing the roof and outside walls
- Plumbing and gas facilities in working order
- Hot water
- Heating facilities
- Electrical lighting and wiring that conform to applicable law
- Clean common areas
- Extermination and rodent removal
- Adequate garbage facilities
- Properly maintained floors
Colorado landlords escaping liability
Tenants should note that Colorado’s duty of care is not absolute. According to the most recent amendments to the law in 2006, Colorado landlords may be able to minimize or escape liability by showing that the danger was open and obvious. Landlords may also argue that the tenant willingly assumed the risk of harm or that the tenant’s negligence added to the harm. Colorado law also recognizes that the tenant may be liable for a portion of the harm under the doctrine of pro rata liability. If you or a family member has been injured due to faulty rental property conditions, it is important that you immediately contact a skilled personal injury attorney. Bell & Pollock, P.C. has more than 20 years of experience successfully helping injured Colorado tenants.