Duties Owed by the Owner
This paper explains privileges and duties payable by a premises owner to trespassers, invitees and proprietors to the premise.
According to Rush and Ottley (165), the Occupiers Liability Act 1984, states that an occupant of a premise, owes duty of ensuring safety from any form of danger within a premise to a trespasser especially if he can reasonably or if he knows that danger exists towards a trespasser, or if he knows or can expect reasonably that un-wanted visitors may visit the premise and he or she is exposed to danger that he or she is expected to be protected against.
He is however not expected to carry out inspection on the premise for any form of danger to the trespasser.
A premise owner generally owes a licensed person to be in the property a duty to inspect the premise and warn against any possible danger that the licensee would not have otherwise recognized and practice personal safety against the same (Cohene & Abele, 151). The owner is therefore held responsible for injuries towards the licensee if he had better knowledge that the licensee, otherwise, they would both be exposed to danger while in the premise and the owner is not held responsible.
Cohene and Abele (152), notes that business owners owe the highest duty of care to business invitees. He is required to ensure that the premise is safe, thus, he must carry out thorough inspection for an obvious and hidden risk especially in places where invitees are allowed as well as in areas where they could stray to. In dangerous areas including slippery floors, the owner is also expected to place signs that warn invitees to observe extra care.
Rationale for these standards
A trespasser illegally stays in a premise therefore; he is owed the least duty of care. However, the owner is required to ensure he does not harm the trespasser willingly. A licensee does not offer any benefit to the owner and thus, he is not expected to make the premises safe for him. Invitees on the other hand are invited to the premise for something beneficial to the owner. As a result, the premise owner is expected to ensure maximum safety for them.
This paper has explained privileges and responsibilities owed to trespassers, licensees and invitees to premises as well as the logic behind these legal measures.
Cohen, Harvey H., Abele Jon R. Slips, Trips, Missteps, and Their Consequences Tucson, AZ:
Lawyers & Judges Publishing Inc. 2007. 151- 152. Web, 18 January 2014,
Rush Jon, Michael Ottley (2006) Business Law, London UK: Thompson Learning. 2006. 165.
Web, 18 January 2014,