When a landlord rents out space to tenants, there are certain basic safety provisions set out in the law describing when and how landlords bear responsibility and liability for accidents involving injury to tenants and their guests or damage to tenant property. In Jacksonville, Mississippi there are incidents that fall under landlord's liability if they don’t take proper measures to prevent injury. To avoid situations where a lawsuit becomes necessary, landlords need to make sure their properties comply with state and local safety codes.
Landlords that offer residential units for rent make an implicit warranty of habitability. On top of that, many states and municipalities formally codify that warranty in the form of a revokable certificate of habitability that is required for a building to be used as a residence in whole or in part.
The exact requirements for habitability vary from one place to another, but there are basic guarantees that are universal because they are considered common sense components of a habitable home or apartment. That includes working plumbing and electrical with no unsafe or unmaintained infrastructure. It also usually requires door locks to be present and working, and sometimes window locks as well.
Many jurisdictions, including Jackson, Mississippi also require that landlords provide access to trash service, heat, and electrical utilities. In cases of illness or injury related to cold weather because of improper heating due to a landlord's failure to inspect and maintain facilities, tenants may retain a personal injury lawyer and file a complaint.
When landlords believe they have met the requirements for habitability with their offerings and tenants make claims, it often becomes a legal dispute. There are products like liability insurance that are designed to help offset those costs, but reducing the amount of claims through the minimization of risk is usually the best way to keep those costs low. That is why property maintenance is important for landlords.