Renting a second or third story apartment is generally considered safer than renting one on the first floor. Living on the ground floor creates the risk of someone breaking into the unit. Renting an apartment that is higher than ground level reduces the risk of robbery and similar break-in crimes of convenience.
However, life above ground level also creates a different form of risk because the tenant will likely have to take the stairs frequently. Stairs are one of the most dangerous parts of any building. They present a significant risk for slip-and-fall incidents that can leave people with brain injuries and broken bones. Landlords should make every effort to maintain their stairs for the safety of tenants and anyone who uses them.
What does a safe staircase look like?
Safe staircases have all the necessary amenities and fixtures to allow people to safely go up or down with minimal risk of a fall. Adequate lighting at both ends of the stairwell is very important. Dark stairs can lead to people putting their foot in the wrong place and falling as a result.
A secure and strong handrail is also important. In the event that someone loses their balance or if they just need a little extra stability, people should be able to hold that railing to make it up and down the stairs safely. The stairs themselves should be dry and clean with properly maintained flooring. Carpet that’s ripping out or tile that stealing back could easily contribute to a fall.
There are other considerations as well, but some landlords fail to meet even these most basic of standards. If you suffered a severe injury because you fell down the staircase, the property owner may be responsible for your injuries and lost wages if they did not properly maintain the stairwell.