Rental housing comes in all shapes, sizes and conditions. Whether you are a family renting a house or a college student looking for an affordable apartment to share with friends, your rental housing should be equipped with safety features like smoke alarms and fire exits in order to ensure that you and everyone else who may be in the building can escape safely in the event of a fire. Unfortunately, not all rental properties are created equally when it comes to fire safety.
Each year, many lives are lost due to inadequate fire safety equipment in rental housing. Some landlords attempt to extract as much income from their rental properties as they possibly can by increasing the number of rooms that are available for rent. This can mean that spaces which were not originally intended to serve as living quarters, or not approved for use as living quarters, are sometimes converted into bedrooms and rented to tenants. When spaces like attics and basements are turned into living quarters, additional exits and fire escape routes may not be created up to code. Likewise, if the building is already equipped with a fire alarm system at the time that additional rooms are created, the system might not get extended out to those areas where living space has been added. These two issues can create dangers for people in the event of a fire.
Rental housing is often furnished with major appliances like stoves, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. Landlords may not replace or maintain appliances in rental properties frequently. Old appliances can cause fires if a malfunction occurs causing injury.
Rental properties are usually subject to state safety regulations. These regulations generally set out criteria that buildings must meet in order to be deemed safe for rental occupancy, and they also describe the requirements for how often buildings must be inspected.
Many people live in rental properties, and all of them are entitled to safe housing in return for the rent that they pay. If someone that you love has tragically died or was injured as a result of a fire in a rental property, contact one of our skilled Wrongful Death Attorneys in order to learn more about rights that may exist for you and how to preserve those rights.
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