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Seeking advice on resolving tenant dispute

Posted by Dennis Bowen on August 01, 1997 at 10:34:47:

I recently became a landlord in the Chicago area and within the first week I had my
first challenge. The senario is this, I stored a ladder in the garage in front of my
tenant's space. The ladder was standing up in the garage leaning against one of the
beams. I left for the day and when I came home the tenant reported to me that the
ladder had fallen on her car and cracked her windshield. I believe that she stated
that she nudged the ladder and it fell, but I forget the exact details of how the
accident happened.

Because this is my first rental property, I contacted a lawyer to advise me of my
responsibility. I have a lease with the tenant that states that I am not liable for
accidents that happen to her in and around the buildings or premises. My lawyer told
me that she is responsible for the damages to her car (presumably because she hit the
ladder). My tenant is claiming that I was negligent in that I did not properly
secure the ladder.

Am I liable...

...if she hit the ladder?

...if the ladder just fell on her car?



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