How Outdoor Handrails for Steps and Stairs Reduces a Landlords Liability

Accidents happening in a rental property can be blamed upon the property owner or on the tenant. Whether the landlord is at fault or the tenant is at fault would only be determined after due investigation and legal proceeding. However, having outdoor handrails for steps and stairs reduces a landlord’s liability to a great extent.

When anyone meets with an accident of any nature in someone else’s property or at a place that is not owned by the person getting injured in the accident, the owner of the property or landlord is held responsible and can be asked to pay compensation for the same. However, a tenant may be at his or her own fault which led to the accident. These factors would be considered during the investigation but just how outdoor handrails for steps and stairs reduce a landlord’s liability needs to be studied as well.

First, there are specific building codes that a landlord or property owner must adhere to. Not only are there laws that make it mandatory for stairs and steps to have handrails, but the same series of building codes also dictate that the handrails must be of a certain height, weight, nature and of certain type. To illustrate this, handrails must start conveniently before the first step and must finish after the last step. The handrails must not be too low or too high. It should have a height from the stair level which is recommended by the building codes. Also, the handrails must be strong enough to resist a certain level of force or to support the weight of a person.

If stairs or steps do not have handrails and a tenant slips, trips or falls on those stairs or steps then the landlord would be held liable, regardless of what exactly caused the fall. This is because the handrails, had they been there, could have prevented the fall, slip or trip by offering a support to the tenant or anyone who has met with the accident.

It does so happen that handrails can prevent accidents because people falling or tripping can hold onto the handrail and stop themselves from falling. The accident might not be totally prevented in some cases but the severity of the aftermath can be controlled with the presence of handrails.

There are many other factors that would determine the liability of the landlord such as quality of construction of the stairs, the nature of the surface and if there were any impending issues but as far as handrails are concerned, they can reduce or do away with a landlord’s liability.
Posted on Mar 06, 2014


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