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Staircases: Railings are important to protect against liability

One thing that you may want to know is if stairs must have railings. If so, falling on a set of stairs without them could set up the owner of the property for a liability lawsuit against him or her. For anyone looking to sell a home, it's important that the home is up to code. For buyers, it's vital that the home is up to code and doesn't make them liable for unexpected injuries.

Any property that has safety-related issues needs to have those issues addressed as soon as possible. In the case of stairs, you'll need to have a railing on at least one side of the stairs if there are four or more risers. Essentially, short stairs, like those leading to a front door, might not require railings, whereas stairs inside the home should have at least one railing to hold onto.

If a handrail is not installed when you go to purchase a property, it's within your rights as a buyer to ask that the issue is corrected. Buildings without the proper railings are technically not up to code, so it's something that should be fixed before the home is offered for sale. You may be able to negotiate a lower price to have the issue fixed. In some cases, homeowners sell their homes as-is, and you need to double-check that the property doesn't have any faults that could lead to later liability.

If you're hurt due to a property not having the right railings, it's reason enough for a premises liability lawsuit. Our website has more information on what steps you can take next.

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