Responsibilities of Property Owners
Property kept in poor condition often leads to injuries from trips, slips, and falls. The danger is even greater for small children and elderly people. Property owners have responsibilities to people who come to their property. Their responsibilities are different depending on why the person is there. There are three categories of people that are generally accepted: trespassers, licensees, and invitees. It is important that you understand the responsibilities of property owners. Contact Portland premises liability attorney Chad Stavley for a free consultation.
Premises Liability in Oregon
- Trespassers. With few exceptions, owners of property have no duty to trespassers on their land. Exceptions include times when either the owner intentionally harms a trespasser without justification, knows that the trespassing is happening, or in some cases when the trespasser is a child.
- Licensees. A licensee is a person who is on the property for his/her own reasons, but with the permission of the owner. Examples include party guests, family members or visiting friends. The owner is responsible to a licensee for injuries caused by the condition of the property when it exists intentionally or in reckless disregard for the safety of others. They are also responsible for injuries that result from any hidden dangerous conditions that the owner knows of that could cause injury, even if the visitor is being careful.
- Invitee. An invitee is a person who is on the property of another with their permission and is there for the economic benefit of the property owner. An example is a customer at a store. A store owner has a duty to make their property safe for the customer’s visit. The owner must look for anything that creates a risk of harm to the customer. Then they must fix the unsafe condition or warn customers of the risk. When dealing with public property, an invitee is a person using the property for the purpose that the property was made public. For example, a family member enjoying an afternoon at a nearby public playground would be considered invitees.