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Premises liability of occupiers

Occupiers of property in Ontario are obligated by law to keep their premises safe for guests or residents who use them. If an occupier fails to keep their premises free of hazards, they could be held liable for injuries that are sustained as a result. In cases where there is a landlord and tenant, the property may have more than one liable occupier.

When there is a question of whether or not an occupier is liable for injuries sustained on his or her property, a court will look at various issues involved in the accident. If the accident was caused by a hazard on the property, the court will try to determine whether the hazard was foreseeable and allowed to remain on the property for an unreasonable period. A court will also consider whether the occupier kept their premises properly maintained and whether the occupier inspected the property on a regular basis.

Some property conditions that can result in an occupier being held liable for injuries include uneven surfaces, missing handrails on stairs and inadequate lighting. An occupier who allows debris to be left in the middle of walking paths or permits excessive ice and snow to collect on surfaces may also leave themselves open to a premises liability claim.

When properties are not adequately maintained, injuries suffered from falling objects or slip-and-fall accidents can be severe. A victim of one of these types of accidents may wish to seek some compensation for their injuries from the occupier. To build a strong claim against an occupier, a victim may want to seek help from a personal injury lawyer.

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada, “Occupiers’ Liability – Slip/Trip & Fall*,” Nov. 9, 2014