Q: Landlord wants me to sign away future injury rights of a guest who fell down stairs due to black ice.
I live in a second floor apartment in a large complex in the Denver area. The outdoor stairwell is open to the elements and can get a bit dicey in bad weather. One morning, my BF, took the first step at the top of stairs and literally fell and slid down the entire stairway, hitting the cement below. He was bruised and bloodied and had to go to urgent care for xrays and stitches. The complex management did verify with me they are responsible for the stairs and walkways outside of the apartments and I asked them to provide a bag of deicer that we can keep at the top of stairs to prevent this from happening in the future as their staff doesn't get to my apt. in a timely fashion. No they want ME to sign a form absolving them of any future claims by my boyfriend. What? And offered a $100 off one months rent. It wasn't my accident. I can't sign someone else's rights away?
You are correct, you cannot sign away another person's legal rights/interests. Incidentally, the landlord cannot generally disclaim liability over common areas (the steps) via a warning or a contractual waiver - such disclaimers are in violation of Colorado's housing laws.
You and your boyfriend cannot be forced to sign the waiver and you cannot be evicted for refusing to sign. The landlord could choose to not renew your lease if you decide to not sign.
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