Understanding Landlord Liability and Pursuing Compensation for Rental Property Injuries

Renting a property can sometimes lead to unforeseen challenges, and in unfortunate cases, tenants may suffer personal injuries due to the negligence of their landlords. A recent rental dispute in Brisbane has highlighted the potential legal avenues available to tenants seeking compensation for their injuries. This article will aim to inform on the details of this case, whilst addressing the common questions related to personal injury claims against landlords. If you have been injured in a rental property, this will assist you in understanding your rights and possible causes of action.

Summary of the Brisbane Rental Dispute:

A rental dispute in Brisbane recently resulted in a $1.2 million claim being filed by a tenant against his landlord. The tenant, Justin Pirc aged 35, claimed that he had suffered severe injuries due to negligence on the part of the landlords, Cassandra and Jason Sheppard. According to the allegations, the property had several hazards, including faulty electrical wiring, exposed nails, and slippery surfaces. Mr. Pirc claimed that he sustained life changing injuries as a direct result of these negligent acts when he slipped on a flooded floor allegedly caused by a leaking pipe that was chewed through by a rat. This case emphasizes the importance of addressing safety concerns in rental properties and holding landlords accountable for their negligence.

The dispute originated from a residential tenancy arrangement in Brisbane. According to court documents, the tenant alleged various issues with the property, including significant maintenance problems, safety concerns, and breach of contract by the landlord. These alleged issues led to a deterioration of the tenant’s living conditions and ultimately prompted the legal action as he was unable to return to work due to his injuries.

Tenant’s Claims:

The tenant alleges that the landlord failed to address numerous maintenance issues, despite repeated requests for repairs. Whilst the landlord, made attempts to fix the leak after numerous complaints, he used the same material as the original pipe which the rodent had chewed through, leading to the leak happening a second time. Additionally, the tenant contends that the landlord breached the terms of the tenancy agreement by failing to maintain the property in a habitable condition.

Landlord’s Response:

Mr. Sheppard has refuted Mr. Pirc’s claims and asserts that they were not given sufficient notice or opportunity to address the alleged maintenance issues. The landlord maintains that they made efforts to resolve any reported problems promptly. They argue that the tenant’s failure to provide necessary access to the property for repairs hindered their ability to rectify the mentioned concerns.

Legal Proceedings:

The dispute has now escalated into a $1.2 million claim, which is expected to proceed through the QLD court system. The tenant is seeking compensation for damages and initiating a case to recover economic loss. The case is likely to focus on the duty of care owed by the landlord, the adequacy of maintenance efforts, and the fact that the injuries sustained may have been avoidable.


This rental dispute highlights the importance of clear communication and documentation between landlords and tenants. It serves as a reminder for tenants to promptly report any maintenance issues to their landlords and keep a record of such communication. Tenants should also be aware of their rights, including the landlord’s obligation to provide a habitable living environment. On the other hand, landlords should prioritize addressing reported problems in a timely manner, ensuring they fulfill their responsibilities under the tenancy agreement.

Can I Sue My Landlord?

Yes, you can sue your landlord if you have suffered personal injuries due to their negligence. Landlords have a legal duty to maintain their properties and keep them in a safe and habitable condition. If they fail to do so, and this results in an injury to a tenant, the affected individuals have the right to pursue legal action. It is crucial to gather evidence, such as photographs, medical records, and witness statements, to support your claim. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer experienced in premises liability cases will greatly assist you in navigating the legal process.

What types of injuries can be claimed in a rental dispute?

Any injury resulting from the negligence or unsafe conditions of the rental property can potentially be claimed. This includes slip and falls, inadequate security leading to assault, faulty electrical systems causing electric shocks, or any other injury caused by hazardous conditions.

Does Landlord Insurance Cover Personal Injury?

Landlord insurance typically covers property damage, liability claims, and loss of rental income. However, the specifics of each insurance policy can vary. In some cases, landlord insurance may cover personal injury claims if the injury was caused by a covered peril, such as a structural defect or a hazardous condition. It is essential for tenants who have been injured to consult with a solicitor who can evaluate the landlord’s insurance policy and advise on the potential for compensation.

Is the Landlord Responsible for Tenant Injury?

Landlords have a legal duty of care towards their tenants, which includes maintaining safe living conditions. If a tenant sustains injuries due to a hazardous condition that the landlord knew or should have known about, the landlord may be held liable for the resulting damages. However, the burden of proof lies with the tenant to establish that the landlord was negligent in their duty of care. This requires demonstrating that the landlord failed to address or remedy the hazardous condition of which a reasonable landlord should have realised and that this failure directly caused the injuries.

How to Prove Landlord Negligence?

To prove landlord negligence, tenants must present evidence that establishes the following elements:

  • Duty of Care:  Show that the landlord had a legal obligation to maintain a safe living environment for tenants;
  • Breach of Duty: Demonstrate that the landlord failed to fulfill their duty by either creating a hazardous condition or failing to address a known hazard;
  • Causation: Establish a direct link between the landlord’s negligence and the injuries suffered by the tenant; and
  • Damages: Provide evidence of the physical, emotional, and financial harm caused by the landlord’s negligence.

Evidence may include photographs or videos of the hazardous condition, maintenance records, expert opinions, medical reports, and witness testimonies. Consulting with a personal injury solicitor will help you gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case.

How long do I have to file a personal injury claim related to a rental dispute?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims varies by jurisdiction. It’s important to consult with a solicitor promptly to determine the specific time limits applicable in your case.


If you have been injured in a rental property due to the negligence of your landlord, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. The recent case involving Mr Pirc as a reminder of the importance of maintaining safe living conditions and holding landlords accountable.

It also highlights the importance of having the support of legal representation if you do find yourself in a situation where you have been injured in a rental property and wish to initiate legal proceedings.

Salerno Law has a team of dedicated and experienced personal injury lawyers who have an unparalleled commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients. This dedication and experience means we are able to provide tailored advice and successful results for our clients who wish to seek compensation for injuries suffered as a result of somebody else’s negligence.

Our reputation for excellence and results makes us a trusted and reliable choice for anyone seeking legal representation or advice in a personal injury matter.

Author:  Ibbi Jahshan