In around June 2018, our 54-year-old client was visiting her friend at their rental premises. As our client was walking through the dining room, the floorboards gave way causing her body to fall into the hole and become stuck within the hole around the waist.
Our client came to us for advice about the incident as her friend had previously complained about the state of the floor to the real estate agent responsible for managing the property. The incident had also aggravated our client’s pre-existing injuries she had previously sustained in a previous fall that caused her to be in receipt of a Disability Support Pension.
The public liability team began investigations into the matter, requesting documents from the real estate agents and landlord about the system of inspection in place in regards to the subject premises. Our investigation uncovered that there was damage to the floorboards due to leaking water. Crucially there were no documents provided by the real estate agent demonstrating that any reasonable inspections were undertaken throughout the 6 years our client’s friend had resided in the premises.
In addition, the team carefully reviewed photographs of the premises which indicated that the premises was in a state of disrepair and was soon after the incident declared uninhabitable.
The Public Liability Team was then able to argue that as the managing agent of the property, the real estate agent, had a contractual obligation to undertake routine and reasonable inspections of the property to ensure that the rental premises was free from defects and safe to live in.
Our client had sustained minimal lower back and leg injuries, which were not permanent, and our client was able to mostly recover from her condition.
Due to the thorough investigations perform by our Team, we were able to negotiate and settle the claim without the need for expensive liability and medical expert reports.
The team successfully negotiated with the insurer without the need to commence proceedings in court. Our client was pleased with the result as this sum of money will enable her to obtain the treatment she requires, without the need to go to court.
If you have been involved in an incident in a rental property, contact the expert public liability team at Gerard Malouf and Partners today.