In many states, property owners owe different duties to people who come onto their property. They have a liability to protect any person from harm or injury that enters their premises. There are three areas under which a homeowner is liable to anyone on the homeowner’s premises:
In states that still distinguish among these categories of people, the legal duty owed to each category is different. It is important to ask a lawyer whether these categories and standards of care apply in your state.
Let’s see what each category mean.
Invitee – is anyone who was invited onto a person’s property by the owner of the property for lawful reasons. It may be done by means of an invitation, that may be, as well, done through words. Invitation can be implied, for instance, a shop is open for public to enter, purchase or do business on the premises. So, The property can be open for public. Users of public parks or hospital visitors are also invitees. A homeowner has a legal responsibility to make sure the property is safe for the invitee. By way of example, it might be reasonable to expect a business owner to conduct regular inspections, maintain, and clean stairwells in his/her property to make sure they are safe. The homeowner must also warn any invitee of any hazards that the owner is incapable of fixing at the time.
Licensees – differ from invitees in that a licensee is invited onto the homeowner’s property by the homeowner despite the fact that the property is not open to the general public. However, homeowners should provide safe conditions on their property, or warn if there are any hazards.
Trespasser – a person not authorized to be on someone else’s property, and enters the property without any invitation. While a trespasser will be liable for trespassing, homeowners also have a legal obligation not to intentionally hurt a trespasser, i.e. setting traps.
A landowner will be liable for any damages if they were caused by unsafe conditions on their property if the condition was created or maintained by the owner, or the owner failed to warn of any hazards.
When it comes to children as trespassers, different rules are applied. As children are very curious, your property may contain so called attractive nuisances, that could magnetize children. So, if you suspect that children might be interested in something on your property lock it up, or fence it up, and put signs.
If you are a property owner, you’d better contact a qualified attorney in advance about ownership laws or homeowner liability. The attorney will provide you with information about you rights and duties and represent you in the court if needed. In order to find a good and qualified real estate attorney that will compete to handle your case, just visit Legal Bistro online community website, and choose the attorney best suits your legal issues.
You are more than welcome to watch our video, that will provide you with the information about homeowner liability, property owners’ legal duty to prevent injuries, etc.