A fire in your home is scary for anyone. If you live in an apartment with multiple units, though, it can be especially frightening. Unlike a house fire, a person or family in another unit may not know as quickly that a fire is happening in the building. Fires in multi-home buildings usually start when a tenant is doing everyday activities. Sometimes, though, the fire starts from an unseen cause like faulty wiring, defective smoke alarms, or building code violations.
Unlike a house fire where a homeowner bears the cost of the damages, a renter may be able to share the burden with their landlord if the landlord was careless and failed to maintain the property in a safe manner. In New York, landlords have a duty to ensure that there are proper fire safety systems in place. If this duty isn’t met, the landlord may be liable for the resulting injuries or, sadly, death.
There are common types of landlord negligence that may lead to an apartment fire:
- Faulty wiring
- Building code violations
- A defective or missing smoke alarm
- Blocked fire exits
- Pest infestations
- Missing smoke detectors
Generally, in order for a landlord to be liable for a fire, he must have noticed the poor conditions, or those conditions must have existed for long enough that he should’ve or could’ve noticed and corrected the problem. Also, if a landlord failed to maintain a building up to code or failed to install proper smoke detectors or safety devices, he may be liable for damages.
No matter what, losing your home to a fire is a devastating tragedy. If you live in a rented home, you might be owed damages for the negligence of your landlord. The Coppola Firm is here to help you rebuild, understand your rights, and protect you and your loved ones. If you’ve been involved in an apartment fire, our team of experienced attorneys can help you determine if you’re entitled to any damages from your landlord.