Visitor Question

Landlord Receives Letter for Former Tenant’s Alleged Injury…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Maryland)

I am the property manager who’s client (the landlord) was sent a letter from an attorney who claims he represents a former tenant. He claims that the ceiling fell on the tenant’s head in the bathroom.

This tenant was evicted last month after several months of non-payment. Three days before the eviction he verbally tells maintenance that the ceiling tiles are loose but not to fix it until he leaves because he has a lot to move. A week after the eviction the landlord gets a letter from an attorney to call him in regards to this matter.

We never were negligent. We have pictures of the ceiling tile and the tenant moving his furniture after his claim of the ceiling tiles falling on him. We documented that we would fix any problems but were denied access to the apartment. Also, this tenant may have had a history of drug abuse as after he left we found several drug items in the apartment.

How should we respond to this attorney, or should we respond?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Although we are able to make some general observations about the issues your presented, we are unable to give legal advice. With that said you should understand a letter from an attorney is not a “death knell”. It is just a notice informing you he represents a person who has claimed to be injured.

The basis of any legal claim is injury. To prevail in a claim for personal injury the person injured must also have incurred medical bills. The medical bills plus a determination of liability are usually the basis of a personal injury claim.

To be successful the tenant will have to be able to prove his injuries were a direct result of the property owner’s negligence. Add to that the type of injury and directly related medical bills.

From the facts you present it doesn’t appear the tenant suffered any real injuries.

It might be a good idea to refer the matter to your insurance company. If they believe the claim isn’t a valid one your insurance company will in all likelihood deny it.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 1, 2011

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