Booking a room in someone's house as an alternative to a motel reflects an inexpensive travel strategy. The person renting out the room is often an "average homeowner" who knows little about hotel management. Guests likely understand this is the trade-off when booking a private room. That said, homeowners entering into the arrangement must take steps to protect the health of renters. Any negligent oversight, even a minor oversight that leads to an injury, could open doors to civil litigation. Slip-and-fall accidents might be the most common injuries that come to mind, but harm may also include illnesses resulting from unclean environments. So, the newbie landlord should put effort into keeping the bathroom clean.
The Bathroom Cleaning and Safety Schedule
Bathrooms can become quite filthy quickly. The unsightliness of a dirty bathroom could lead to more than verbal complaints. The homeowner could find him/herself in legal jeopardy if someone gets sick due to a staph infection or another illness. Legal questions may then arise about the homeowner's/landlord's cleaning policy. The questions may center on:
- Thoroughness: Was the entire bathroom cleaned? Rush jobs and partial cleanings could indicate negligence. Performing a quick cleaning by only wiping away the top of the sink while leaving the underside dirty represents inefficient cleaning. Bacteria can grow on missed spots and, likely, spread.
- Timeliness: Cleaning the bathroom once a week probably won't cut it when guests come and go frequently. Also, if you're renting two or three rooms and everyone shares the bathroom, the need to run a frequent cleaning schedule increases. Cleaning the bathroom once a day might not even be enough. Perhaps a set time for daily cleaning should be followed up by spot checks and necessary sanitation.
- No Cost-Cutting: The use of higher-grade cleaning supplies would benefit safety more than purchasing cheap or insufficient materials. Mixing less than the recommended amount of cleaning agents with mostly water to save money could be considered negligent since the proper amount of cleaning solution never finds its way into the water.
These are not the only matters concerning negligence. What if someone dropped a glass and it shattered? Cuts can open portals for bacteria. Did someone clean up the broken glass right away, or did they dither? And, for that matter, did the property owner respond to requests to clean up the bathroom or address complaints? A personal injury lawyer may pose similar questions. Anyone injured when renting a guest may wish to speak with such an attorney.
To learn more about personal injury law, contact a personal injury attorney.