Washington, like most states, has stuck with the common law classifications for determining premises liability. These classifications include invitees, licensees, etc. For purposes of lawsuits against landlords, residential tenants and their guests are considered invitees pursuant to the residential landlord tenant act. This is helpful as the highest duty of care is owed to invitees by the landlord.
Landlords have a duty to use ordinary care to keep the premises fit for human habitation during the tenancy. When a landlord is given notice of a defective condition he or she has a “reasonable time” to make repairs.
The contractor who carries out repairs is also liable for dangerous conditions caused by their work. This liability extends for the life of the work.
Slip and fall cases are usually more difficult to prosecute than other types of personal injury cases such as auto accident cases because liability is more difficult to establish. Notice is a key element of slip and fall cases and needs to be carefully examined and supported.