What Responsibilities Do Property Owners Have?
The responsibilities of a property owner depend on the type of relationship they have with the person on their property. Visitors on another person’s property are legally divided into three categories, each of which is owed a different duty of care:
- Invitees: These are people who are either expressly or implicitly invited to enter someone’s property for commercial or business reasons. This refers to customers at a store and clients at a business. Property owners must maintain safe property for invitees, warn them about any foreseeable dangers, and take all reasonable steps to protect invitees.
- Licensees: These are people invited onto someone’s premises for non-commercial, often social reasons. A property owner is only responsible for any injuries licensees sustain if they knew or should have known about any risks on their property and failed to warn the licensees.
- Trespassers: These are people who enter someone’s property without the rightful owner’s permission. The only duty of care owed to them is to not use excessive force when having them removed from the property.
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