A person who owns, leases, occupies or controls property is negligent if he or she fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in reasonably safe condition.
They must also use reasonable care to discover any unsafe conditions and to repair, replace or give adequate warnings of anything that could be reasonably expected to harm others.
In deciding whether the property owner or occupier or the person in control of the premises used reasonable care the following factors have to be considered –
(a) The location of the property
(b) The likelihood that someone will come onto the property in the same manner as an entrant or visitor would
(c) The likelihood of harm occurring
(d) The probable seriousness of such harm
(e) Whether the proposed Defendant knew or should have known of the conditions that created the risk of harm
(f) The difficulty of protecting against the risk of such harm
(g) The extent of the owner or occupiers control over the condition that created the risk of harm
Liam Moloney, Naas based Personal Injuries Solicitor acts for clients injured in the United States and for American visitors to Ireland who unfortunately have accidents in this country. With regard to the Californian Law on Premises Liability he commented ‘It is now well established that Californian Law requires land owners to maintain land in their possession and control in a reasonably safe condition’.
A property owner cannot escape liability or failure to maintain property in a safe condition by delegating the duty to an independent contractor.
What is a landlords duty?
A landlord in California must conduct reasonable periodic inspections of rental properties whenever the landlord has the legal right of possession. Before giving possession of leased property to a tenant a landlord must conduct a reasonable inspection of the property for unsafe conditions and must take reasonable precautions to prevent injury due to the conditions that were or reasonably should have been discovered in the process. The inspection must include common areas under the landlords control.
After a tenant has taken possession a landlord must take reasonable precautions to prevent injury due to any unsafe condition in an area of the premises under the landlords control if the landlord knows or should have reasonably known about it.
Independent contractors such as architects, contractors and suppliers of materials are liable for their own negligence.