What Is Occupiers Liability?

Occupiers liability is the name for the responsibilities which the occupier of land or buildings has to ensure the safety of people who come onto the land.
The occupier and the owner are not necessarily the same person, and the law will consider someone to be an occupier if they exercise a sufficient degree of control over the property. For example, this can include a tenant or lodger as well as an owner. Where the owner has no control over the property or the risks which it contains, he will not be an occupier. So, for example, if a building is owned by a company but that company has granted a 100 year lease to another company, the owner will have very little influence over the property.
Occupiers Liability Car Accident Need A Lawyer Act 1957
The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 states that the occupier of premises has a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that visitors to the premises are safe.
This Act only applies to visitors and these are defined as people who are on the premises at the occupier’s invitation and with his permission. Whilst this would include guests of the occupier, it also includes those people who are presumed to have the occupier’s permission to be on the premises. For example, postmen and milkmen are considered visitors and if they are injured because the occupier has not taken steps to ensure that the garden path is sufficiently safe, they will be protected under the Act. There is also a risk that where the occupier knows that people are persistently trespassing on his land, but makes no attempt to prevent this, the law will assume that he has consented to the trespassers’ presence and they become visitors under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
Someone who comes onto a property as a visitor can become a trespasser if the occupier no longer consents to his presence, and in this case he ceases to be entitled to the protection of the Act. This situation could arise if a guest enters a part of the property where he is not entitled to be.
Where an occupier fails to discharge his duty under the Occupiers Liability Act he is guilty of negligence and if the visitor is injured he will be able to claim compensation.
Occupiers Liability Accident Car Information Act 1984
The Occupiers Liability Act 1984 applies to all persons who are not visitors, and in practice this means that it sets out the duty of care which an occupier owes to trespassers. The duty of care imposed by this Act is much narrower than the duty of care under the 1957 Act. The occupier is only liable if he knows that a risk exists and knows or believes that trespassers are or might come into the vicinity of the risk. The occupier is only required to guard against the risk if it would be reasonable for him to do so in the circumstances, and when deciding what is reasonable a court will take into consideration:
• Whether the risk is hidden or obvious
• Whether the risk or danger would result in serious injury
• The nature of the trespass (i.e. is the trespasser a burglar or an accidental trespasser)
• Whether the trespass is foreseeable

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