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AMI 1105 Landlord's Duty of Care to Repair and Maintain Property

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 1105
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2022 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 11. Owners and Occupiers of Land
AMI 1105 Landlord's Duty of Care to Repair and Maintain Property
In this case (plaintiff) was upon premises owned by (landlord) and leased to (tenant). (Plaintiff) claims damages from (landlord) and has the burden of proving each of essential propositions:
First, that [he][she] sustained damages;
Second, [that (landlord) agreed to (maintain)(or)(repair) the leased property and received consideration for that agreement;] [or] that (landlord), [by conduct, assumed the duty to (maintain) (or) (repair) the leased property;]
Third, that (landlord) failed to perform the [agreement][or][assumed duty] in a reasonable manner; and
[Fourth, that (landlord)'s failure to perform the [agreement][or][assumed duty] in a reasonable manner was the proximate cause of (plaintiff)'s damages.]
[If you find from the evidence in this case that each of these propositions has been proved, then your verdict should be for (plaintiff); but if, on the other hand, you find from the evidence that any of these propositions has not been proved, then your verdict should be for (landlord)].
Use this instruction when a claim arising from disrepair is asserted against a landlord or condominium association who either agreed to keep the property in repair or by conduct assumed that duty.
If an agreement is disputed, additional appropriately modified instructions from AMI 2402, AMI 2404 and AMI 2406 may be necessary.
Do not use the final bracketed paragraph when affirmative defenses such as negligence of the claimant are in issue. See AMI 206.
Do not use the final bracketed paragraph when the case is submitted on interrogatories.
This instruction was cited as authority for the rule it addresses in Handy Dan Home Imp. Center, Inc.-Arkansas v. Peters, 286 Ark. 102, 689 S.W.2d 551 (1985).
Only an express agreement or assumption of duty by conduct can remove a landlord from the general rule of nonliability. Propst v. McNeill, 326 Ark. 623, 932 S.W.2d 766 (1996).
In Lloyd v. Pier W. Prop. Owners Ass’n, 2015 Ark. App. 487, 470 S.W.3d 293 (2015), the Court of Appeals held a condominium association to the landlord standard of care as to common areas under its control.
A gratuitous promise to repair, unsupported by consideration, is not sufficient to create a duty on the part of the landlord. Stalter v. Akers, 303 Ark. 603, 798 S.W.2d 428 (1990).
A third party must establish a contractual duty of the landlord to repair a defect before he or she may recover for an injury suffered on leased property over which the landlord has relinquished possession and control to a tenant. Stalter, 303 Ark. at 607, 798 S.W.2d at 430.
A landlord has no duty to remove common hazards such as ice and snow from parts of the premises in common use by tenants. Glasgow v. Century Property Fund XIX, 299 Ark. 221, 772 S.W.2d 312 (1989).
A landlord does not owe a duty to protect a tenant, a tenant's employee, or a tenant's social guest from injury or criminal acts on the premises absent a statute, agreement, or assumption of duty by conduct. Lacy v. Flake & Kelley Mgmt., 366 Ark. 365, 370–371, 235 S.W.3d 894, 898 (2006) (lease provision requiring commercial landlord to monitor building entryway did not give rise to duty to protect tenant's employee from criminal attack in parking lot; therefore, general rule of nonliability applied); Bussey v. Bearden, 2011 Ark. App. 353, 384 S.W.3d 41 (affirming summary judgment for landlord on negligence claims brought by social guest of residential tenant who was severely beaten by a burglar in the apartment and rejecting argument that lease language modified the no-duty rule).
After certain suggestions in Thomas v. Stewart, 347 Ark. 33, 60 S.W.3d 415 (2001), that in the absence of legislative action, the court might reconsider the common law rule of landlords’ nonliability, the Legislature, by Act 928 of 2005, stated that it re-adopted and codified the common law rule. However, the Act used language that varied slightly from some of the cases, e.g., “failure to perform the agreement or assumed duty in a reasonable manner” versus maintain the premises “in a reasonably safe condition.” This instruction uses the statutory language.
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