Is my landlord responsible for damage to my car caused by large potholes in my driveway?

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Is my landlord responsible for damage to my car caused by large potholes in my driveway?

I have complained numerous times and even put in a work order on it two months ago. The office claims it is my responsibilty to drive more carefully over these 3 very large holes. Also, that it is the same as if I ran over something in a store’s parking lot. That it is a matter for my insurance.

Asked on January 3, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it appears that you landlord may be responsible. A property owner has an obligation to make sure the property is reasonably safe, especially for those (like tenants) it invites to come onto the property. Given that you have provided notice and that the landlord has evidently had adequate time to address the issue, the landlord's failure to remediate these potholes may be negligent, or unreasonably careless, and such negligence could give rise to liability. It would seem worthwhile to file a case in small claims court, acting as your own attorney, if the amount of damage is under the small claims jurisdictional limit; if it exceeds the limit for small claims, it would probably be worthwhile to consult with an  attorney.


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