Premises Liability and What You Need to Know


When someone enters your property, they have reasonable expectations that they will not get injured. You can expect the same thing when going to someone else’s home – you are putting your safety in their hands. This all falls under the Ontario premises liability law. So, what happens if an owner fails in keeping guests safe and comfortable? Here’s what you need to know:


Premises Liability

If you get hurt on someone else’s property and you obtain serious injuries, they take personal liability. This is legally known as premises liability or occupiers’ liability. When you sue someone for injuries you obtained while you are on their property, you are suing them for negligence.


What is the Ontario Occupiers’ Liability Act?

Under this act, it is the sole duty of the property owner or resident to make sure anyone who enters their property is kept safe. This includes any personal property that the guest brings with them. For instance, if you are visiting someone and their home is under renovation, they are required to remove any hazards from the area you will be in or they can warn you about dangerous objects such as loose floorboards or protruding nails.


If you are visiting someone who is renting their property, the landlord is equally responsible for providing adequate warning about the dangers and hazards on the premises. If the injury comes from something that the tenant could have prevented, the tenant is then still held liable.


Exceptions to this law apply if the guest is committing a crime, trespassing, or has entered a rural area or trail. When you enter a rural area, such as a country property with pastures, forest, or orchards, you are assuming all risks and you are taking full responsibility for your own safety.


Premises Liability on Non-Residential Properties

The concept of premises liability also applies to non-residential properties such as restaurants, schools, amusement parks, parking lots, and shopping centres. When you pay to get into an establishment or avail a service from them, you are putting your own safety into their hands and you also assume that they have taken precautions for you.


Improper maintenance is one of the most common causes of accidents on these property types. However, there are other types of incidents that can happen such as physical hazards, violence from other visitors, or violation of safety codes.


If you or someone you love has been hurt in someone else’s property and needs legal assistance, call our firm today at 1.855.905.9222 to know what you should do next.