Who is liable if my car is damaged by my landlord’s property?

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Who is liable if my car is damaged by my landlord’s property?

I parked my car when I got home from work. As I left to get dinner, I heard a horrible noise. When I got out of my car the front bumper was partially off. After examining it, I noticed that rebar was sticking out of the concrete stopper. It had caught on my bumper and torn it off. I want to know if they are liable for this damage.

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

They *might* be liable: you would have to show the following:

1) That to have the rebar sticking out, to the extent that it was,  was negligent or unreasonably careless--this will depend on how far it was sticking out.

2) That the landlord knew or reasonably should have known of the hazard--if he did not, there would be no liability.

3) You were not yourself contributorially or comparatively negligent--that is, you were not negligent or careless in how close you parked to the stopper. Your own liabilty will reduce, and in some cases eliminate, what you could recover.

If the landlord does not voluntarily compensate you, you would need to sue the landlord and show 1) and 2) above in court by a preponderance of the evidence ("more likely than not") and also refute or minimize any attempt by the landlord to show your negligence.


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