Legal Hotline Spotlight*Please note: Any questions regarding Legal Hotline Spotlights should be submitted via the Virginia REALTORS® Legal Hotline. Our attorneys are unable to respond to questions through our comments section.

Q: A new tenant just moved into my client’s rental home. During the move-in, the tenant claims she fell down the stairs and suffered injuries. She claims the stairs were slick and unsafe. The tenant is now demanding that I provide her with the owner’s insurance policy information. What should I do?

A: Generally, property owners are liable for injuries caused by their negligence or dangerous conditions on their properties. However, just because a person was injured does not mean that there was a dangerous condition present or that the property owner was negligent.

Once you become aware of an injury claim, you and/or the landlord should contact the homeowner’s insurance carrier and notify them of the claim. Most insurance policies include a provision where such claims need to be reported promptly or coverage could be denied. You want to give your insurance carrier notice as soon as possible so that the insurance carrier can investigate the claim before evidence spoils. Informing your insurance carrier of an injury claim or providing the claimant with your insurance information is not an admission of liability.

What is the Legal Hotline?

The Legal Hotline is a member benefit that has been supporting members for over 25 years. Our team of lawyers answers your important questions about real estate transactions quickly and accurately (usually within three business hours!).

Here are some tips to help make the Legal Hotline work for you!