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Duties of Landlords to Tenants and Tenant's Guests

Massachusetts landlords are legally required to maintain their properties so that there are no unsafe or dangerous conditions for their tenants or any guests their tenants may invite into those premises. In the case that you or a friend or loved one was injured due to a negligent property owner failing to keep a property up to code, the Cambridge-based premises liability and personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP can help you towards receiving financial compensation for those injuries.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability law holds landlords accountable when they neglect to satisfy their legal obligations to maintain and provide a safe building that satisfies all aspects of local law, and a person gets injured or dies as a result. If you are a tenant, the following information might be useful to you in understanding what duties your landlord owes to you and any guests that you might invite over.

Common Areas

In common areas, such as an apartment lobby or common stairwell, your landlord owes you and your guests a duty of reasonable care. This means that the landlord has to take steps that a reasonable person would take to keep these common areas safe for you and your guests. If he negligently fails to do so, he can be held liable for any resulting injuries. A good example could be ensuring that floors are kept clean and free of things like excess water puddles, which could result in a slip and fall injury.

Places Where the Tenant has Exclusive Control

In areas where the tenant has exclusive control, your landlord only has to keep the apartment up to the building and sanitary codes, such as ensuring that there are no infestations of bugs or other pests (and are taken care of if they do present), and that things like basic utilities are functioning safely.

Places Where Landlord has Exclusive Control

In places where the landlord has exclusive control, the landlord has to exercise reasonable care. Examples of places where landlords typically have exclusive control are roofs, foundations, etc.


As far as repairs are concerned, landlords generally have to take reasonable care with respect to residential tenants, but not with respect to long-term commercial ones.

If you’re Unsure About What to do, we Offer Free Consultations

If you been injured and you think that you might have a claim, call the personal injury attorneys of Altman & Altman LLP. We can discuss your rights and options and tell you whether you might be entitled to compensation. Our esteemed group of attorneys has more than 50 years of experience handling all areas of personal injury law. We are well-renowned in the field, and we pride ourselves on getting results for our clients.

At Altman & Altman, we believe that personal injury law promotes safer communities and enforces safety regulations that saves lives. If you or a guest feel as though you were injured as the result of a property owner failing to live up to their legal obligations, call the attorneys of Altman & Altman LLP at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 toll-free, or contact us via our online chat for a free consultation. We are available 24/7.

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