Responsibilities of Property Owners


Property owners have responsibilities to people who come to their property.  Their responsibilities are different depending on the why the person is there.  There are three categories of people that are generally recognized: trespassers, licensees and invitees. For more information call Portland dangerous property lawyer Chad Stavley and get a free consultation.

1.  Trespassers:  With few exceptions, owners of property have no duty to someone who trespasses on their land.  Some exceptions may include situations where the owner intentionally or deliberately harms a trespasser without justification, when the owner knows or should know that the trespassing is occurring, and when the “trespasser” is a child and there is something on the property that attracts children.

2.  Licensees: A licensee is a person who is on the property for his/her own purposes but with the permission or implied permission of the owner.  Examples include party guests, family members or friends visiting the owner.  The owner is responsible to a licensee for injuries caused by the condition of the property when the dangerous condition 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 is aware of, that could cause injury even if the visitor is acting reasonably carefully.

3.  Invitee: An invitee is a person who is on the property of another with their permission or implied permission and is there for the economic benefit of the property owner.  When dealing with public property an invitee is a person acting as a member of the public on the property with permission or implied permission and using the property for the purposes that the property was made public.  An example is a customer at a store.  A store owner has a duty to make their property reasonably safe for the customer’s visit.  And, the owner must take care to find any condition that creates an unreasonable risk of harm to the customer, and then either fix the unsafe condition or warn any foreseeable customer of the risk so that it can be avoided.

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