Occupiers’ liability is a legal concept that holds a person or entity responsible for any harm or injury caused to visitors who enter and use their property. This liability arises from the legal duty of care that an occupier owes to those who enter their property as they are required by law to ensure such properties are safe for trespassers or visitors to such properties. Such liabilities may arise from accidents caused by defective or dangerous condition of the property in question.

An occupier can be the owner of the property, the tenant, lessee, or any other person who has owns or has a control over the property. The duty of care owed by an occupier depends on the status of the visitor. The law recognizes three types of visitors:

  • Invitees: These are visitors who have been invited to the property for a specific purpose, such as customers in a store. The occupier owes the highest duty of care to invitees and must take reasonable steps to ensure their safety.
  • Licensees: These are visitors who have permission to enter the property but for their own purposes, such as a social guest. The occupier owes a lower duty of care to licensees but must still take reasonable steps to ensure their safety.
  • Trespassers: These are visitors who enter the property without permission. The occupier owes no duty of care to trespassers except in certain circumstances, such as if the occupier is aware of the trespasser’s presence and knows that they are likely to be harmed.

Occupiers must take reasonable steps to ensure that their property is safe for visitors, such as repairing any hazards, providing adequate warning signs, and supervising any activities that may be hazardous. If an occupier breaches their duty of care and a visitor is injured as a result, the occupier may be held liable for any harm or injury suffered by the visitor.

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