In most cases, if you are injured in a property occupied by a party who is not its owner, then it is this occupier and not the owner who is liable for your injuries. For example, if a business is renting its office space, it is responsible for injuries occurring in its offices. This is the general rule, but in some cases, the owner of the building may be held liable for the injuries. Here are three examples of cases where premises liability may be apportioned to the owner of a building and not the occupier:
If The Injury Occurs In Owner-Controlled Areas
In some cases, the owner of a property may rent the property but retain control over a few of its sections. If you are injured in any of those owner-controlled areas, then it is the owner who is liable for your injuries. This is because the person controlling such areas has the duty of keeping them safe too.
For example, a business may lease office space in a building, but leave the management of the escalator, parking space, or common washrooms under the care of the building's owner. In such a case, if you are injured on the escalator, then you may lodge a claim against the owner of the building.
If The Lease Specifies the Owner as Responsible
The lease agreement is a powerful too; the wording usually specifies which future defects must be corrected by the owner and which ones the tenant has to fix. For example, the lease may state that if the owner is responsible for any roof leak that may occur while the lease is in place. In such a case, the owner of the property may be liable if the roof leaks and creates a slippery floor that causes you to slip and fall.
If The Owner Didn't Warn the Occupier of Dangerous Conditions
When leasing out a property, the owner is expected to inform the tenant about all the inherently dangerous conditions. The two parties can then agree on how to handle the defect; for example, the owner may promise to repair it within a specified period, or it may be up to the tenant to correct. In such a case, the person tasked with correcting the defect is responsible for any injuries it may cause
However, if the owner of a property fails to inform the tenant of any such defects, then the owner is responsible for any injuries it may cause. This will be the case even if the defect is in tenant-controlled sections of the property. Consider an example of a building owner who rents out an office with a weak partition. If the owner fails to inform the tenant about the issues, then they become liable for all injuries the partition may cause, for example, if it falls on a client.
Therefore, don't just limit yourself to the occupier of a property if you are injured and need to file for compensation. Analyze the circumstances of your injury, with the help of a personal injury lawyer, to see if you need to file your claim against the owner of the property.