The property owner is usually responsible for the safety of his or her buildings. A property owner or a tenant/occupier of a property can generally be held responsible for maintaining his or her buildings to a safe level. Most issues of who is at fault in a premises liability case boil down to who owned the properties.
Who Owns the Property?
The person who owns a property will generally be held responsible for injuries on his or her property. Most occupiers will be residential or commercial tenants. Note that this doesn’t apply to people trespassing on the property when the injuries occurred. The judge or jury will use a popularly used test to determine liability in that instance.
Whoever occupies the premises with intent control is generally liable. The last person to occupy the property with an intent to control it is generally liable. Whoever is legally entitled to occupy the property is liable, if the first two tests are irrelevant.
Owner Liability for Injuries on the Property
If the property owner doesn’t rent out or otherwise occupy the property, then he or she is potentially liable for any injuries that may occur on the property. However, whoever occupies a rented or leased property can still be liable in many situations and circumstances.
If people get hurt in a common area used by tenants, then the property owner can be held liable. The same applies if the property owner knowingly rents the property out in a dangerous condition. It doesn’t apply if the owner tells the tenant that repairing the property is his or her (tenant’s) responsibility.If you’re the tenant and were in control of the property, then you will be held responsible for any injuries caused when the property was in a dangerous condition, as per personal injury lawyer in Fort Erie.
Examples of Owner vs. Occupier Liability
A tenant invites a guest to her apartment, and the guest is hurt in a slip and fall incidence by a puddle in the apartment. The tenant was in control of the umbrella stand where the puddle was. Therefore, she is liable.A tenant invites a guest to her apartment, and there is a puddle near the umbrella stand in the hallway, which the landlord owns, and the guest slips and falls and is hurt by the puddle. The landlord would be held liable in this instance.
A grocery store owner leases a building, and a customer slips on a puddle of spilled milk and is injured. The grocery store owner would be liable since he was in control of the store. The grocery store owner leases her business to another party and knows that the automatic door can malfunction. She doesn’t tell the other party about that, and a customer is hurt when the door slams on his foot; in this instance, the grocery store owner would be liable.