For anyone who survives a Canadian winter, this is a clear and present danger, and snow and ice related injuries occur with an alarming frequency. For those who own their own homes, such an injury may just be chalked up to a learning experience, but what about for those who rent? How responsible are landlords for preventing such types of injury?
In the case of Montgomery v. Van, it was decided by the Ontario Court of Appeal that, irrespective of any prior agreement between tenant and landlord, it would be the landlord’s responsibility to remove any snow, ice, or other outdoor hazards. In the case, the landlord claimed that due to a clause in the lease that stated that the tenant would be responsible for clearing any snow or ice, he was absolved from any responsibility for the injuries Montgomery sustained when she slipped on a patch of ice leading to her basement apartment. He argued that the lease clause was legal despite the Residential Tenancies Act, which states that:
Exterior common areas shall be maintained in a condition suitable for their intended use and free of hazards and, for these purposes, the following shall be removed:
5. Unsafe accumulations of ice and snow.
While the original judge agreed with the landlord, the appellate court ruled that “since the responsibility for snow removal is the landlord’s under the Act, then the landlord cannot transfer this responsibility to the tenant unless there is separate consideration given” – that is, a separate agreement where the landlord pays the tenant to take over that responsibility.
In addition to this decision leading to the plaintiff winning her case against the landlord, it also set a precedent for handling disputes of responsibility between landlord and tenant. Even when leases are signed with full awareness and agreement with the clauses therein, they are void if inconsistent with the Residential Tenancies Act. As a result, both tenants and landlords should be well versed in their respective rights and responsibilities before signing any lease. If you are a landlord or a renter, read through the Act today and ensure that both sides are meeting their legal obligations.
Contact the Mackesy Smye personal injury legal team with any questions regarding your specific situation.
If you’re injured by a third party, what rights do you have? Can you sue for pain and suffering as you would in an auto accident? It’s different for both off-road vehicles and watercraft. In this article, we explain the differences and also give some great advice for staying safe off-road and on the water.Read Article
Victims of a slip and fall accident can seek compensation for medical costs & lost income. Read this post to learn if you have a case. Read this article to better understand slip and fall accidents and what recourse a victim might have and whether there is a case worth pursuing.Read Article
If you have tripped, slipped, and had a fall on another person’s property, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to for your pain and suffering and any other damages that you may have suffered, including loss of income. Read this post to learn more.Read Article
If you have suffered injuries from a slip or trip and fall, you may be wondering how long it could take to resolve the matter and claim the compensation you may be entitled to. Depending on a range of factors, it can take anywhere from a few months to several years to resolve. Read this article to learn about the lawsuit litigation process, and know what to expect.Read Article
Unfortunately, slips, trips, and falls are one of the most common forms of personal injury in Ontario. This article discusses the prevalence of slips and falls and the long-term health consequences that victims endure due to these accidents. The good news is that Mackesy Smye Lawyers can help.Read Article
In 2011, the British Columbia Court of Appeal considered the fundamental aspects relating to an injury on property.Read Article