owners and occupiers

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owners and occupiers (owners and occupants)

Parties who own real property or occupy it in some legally permitted status,such as a tenant.There are a wide variety of responsibilities imposed on owners and occupants, such as compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other than such statutory requirements,the area of law concerned with duties of owners and occupiers is called premises liability.The most frequent application of the duties is in slip and fall cases.The duty of care owed to people coming on the property will usually depend on the status of those people as invitees, licensees, or trespassers. Some states merge invitees and licensees into something called entrants,who are lawfully on property,versus trespassers who should not be on the property. A few states impose the same standard of care as to all persons on real property, being a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances.

• An invitee is a person who enters upon property at the express or implied invitation of the owner in order to conduct some business with the owner or engage in some activity the owner conducts or permits to be conducted on the property. The owner and the occupier of property owe a duty to protect invitees against all known dangers and any dangers that should have been discoverable with reasonable care.

• Alicensee is a person who has permission to enter on property, but for the person's own purposes rather than that of the owner. Typically, social guests are classed as licensees. In most states, owners and occupiers owe a licensee the duty of reasonable or due care; in some states the only duty is to refrain from wanton, willful, or reckless conduct.

• Atrespasser is a person who does not have permission to enter on property. Owners and occupiers owe the duty to not set traps for trespassers and not to willfully or wantonly injure them.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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