Liability questions with rental properties

Just some general liability questions here:

  1. Are there any ways to avoid liability if you install some playground equipment at an apartment complex? Are signs stating “use at your own risk” or “owner assumes no liability” pretty much useless? Pretty much every town across the country has a playground in it. Does the city just hope they don’t get sued?
    I’m not interested in the playground equipment would attract kids who will in turn damage your apartments argument. Almost all bigger complexes have playgrounds and some have pools. Do they just not worry as much about it because they have more resources than the average small investor?

  2. Many landlords don’t allow tenants to have trampolines in the yards. If the tenant is using their own trampoline they bought and they get hurt, how can that come back on the landlord?

  3. Pools. Same question as #2 if the tenants buy their own pool.

  4. Conducting business. What kind of liability exists for someone conducting business from the residence? Does something like selling Amway, Avon, Pampered Chef, etc. matter?


Make sure the pool is up to code and control access.

Theory of attractive nuisance makes them infective.

The risk is small and mitigated by insurance.

Again, the risk is small and mitigated by insurance. A large complex with a pool and/or playground makes the property more attractive to renters and allows for higher rent.

Unless your lease forbids it, you can’t make them get rid of it, even if your insurance threatens to cancel the policy. That is the issue for a LL. From a liability standpoint ( and this is a real stretch), the LL allows it on the property and knows it’s a danger. Therefore, he is responsible. This theory is more wishful thinking than slam dunk.

Same as above, except, IMO, a pool is more dangerous than a trampoline.

If customers actually come to the unit to conduct business, the LL is responsible for any injuries caused through his poor maintenance (e. g. not clearing snow, broken steps). The reality is he will get sued no matter what and have to pay to defend himself. Best advice is to ban businesses from residential property. If they want to run a business, they can lease office or storage space.

…in other words, you can be sued at any time, by anyone, for anything. Everyone likes to play the landlord lottery! In my opinion, a multi-layered asset protection program with AGGRESSIVELY fighting all lawsuits is the best defense (along with properly maintaining your property, of course).


Thanks guys. I know a lot (if not most) of individual investors are scared of doing anything that could possibly increase their liability. Not saying I would definitely do it, but I just wondered what the possible ramifications would be if I installed a playground at this complex we’re considering.
Funny thing about the LL lottery… We just got an applicant yesterday who is a 73 year old lady who my dad said is “fragile and prone to falling.” Luckily she was involved in an eviction lately so we can deny her and not worry about it.