How do I prevent/handle retalitation from apartment management company?

by admin on October 18, 2010

My sister in law is also my babysitter. She slipped and fell while holding my two year old boy today. Thankfully she caught the baby and he was fine, but she hit her back on the steps and threw it out. The steps and walkway were covered in packed snow and ice (and have been that way for some time). She contacted our building manager asking for compensation for the trip to the doctor. The manager flatly refused, as did our management company, and claimed the steps and walkway were safe. The good news is my sister in law had the presence of mind to snap a couple of pictures. Her husband also drove by to snap a couple more, and caught a picture of the manager with an icepick and a shovel covering it up. Getting to the point, my sister in law has contacted a personal injury attorney with intent to sue. What do I need to do now to prevent my management company, and my building manager in particular from inventing reasons to have my family evicted from our home. If this is attempted what options do I have in the state of minnesota to defend my family against this and to prove it is retaliation. We are not in a position to move, and even if we are the school district is good (our daughter is in school) and the neighborhood is safe. Unfortunately, though, my sister in law and her husband are in no position to eat medical expenses. He’s just been layed off and they’re struggling as it is, so I really can’t tell them not to do this. I need to know how to allow them to seek proper compensation, while not losing the apartment that my family calls home…and no, I am not able to cover her medical expenses so that she doesn’t have to seek compensation through litigation.

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{ 4 comments }

mblue1209 October 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Very recently, some lawsuits have been dismissed when the defense failed to shovel their sidewalk. It really depends on the judge, but your sister-in-law unfortunately is not guaranteed to win this in court (hopefully it can be settled out of court tho).

The eviction process in any state is lengthy, they can’t just come to your apartment one day with a notice and boot you. There’s court dates, notifications, etc that need to occur first. If they are trying to evict you, you will know atleast a couple months before you would actually be evicted and you will have an opportunity to defend yourself legally. Consider contacting your local tenants protection agency, they can provide you with all the legal info you need to know your rights and they may even have free or low cost lawyers available to represent you. Just Google "Landlord/Tenant Disputes" in your state.

The previous answer is correct, don’t give them any reason to evict. Pay your rent on or before the day it is due and always get a receipt with the date written on it. Some apartments have the due date at the 1st of the month but give you a couple days afterwards to get it in before late charges are added. Even tho you aren’t being charged extra, turning it in during this period is still a late payment. And you can be evicted if this occurs often!

Good luck!

Whitney S October 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

it is the mgt company’s responsibility to make sure the areas are free of trip hazards so they are liable.the pictures are the best thing to have.be careful not to give them an excuse to try anything shady.stay on top of your rent,no noise complaints ect.go to fairhousing.org.that shout have a lising of your options and how to protect yourself.good luck to you.

Susie D October 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

She fell today and has already contacted an attorney? "Threw her back out" is not a medical diagnosis.

You state that the walkway has been like this for some time – so obviously your sister in law knew the conditions existed and still took the hazard into her hands to walk on it.

The issues you will have will be whether the incident could have been prevented, what the laws governing the removal of snow are for your area, and whether or not she was in anyway at fault for her own injuries.

As far as retribution – they cannot evict you for the actions of your sister-in-law, but if they feel you are a liability to them they can elect not to renew your lease when it is up. They can also be on the look out for any reason to evict you should you violate even the smallest rule within your lease.

I’m sorry to say that there is really nothing you can do about how they react to the situation. Just keep your nose clean, pay your rent – and hope for the best. If you violate your lease I wouldn’t be surprised to find yourself moving much sooner than you had anticipated.

mark32541 October 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Just because she slipped on snow or ice.

Doesn’t mean the Apartment complex is at fault.

Or liable for her doctors bills.

People still have to assume due dilgence for thier own actions.

Apartment complex’s are not responsible to remove all snow and ice from the complex.

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