Property Liability

When you own a property, it is your responsibility to keep it safe for those who live there and those who visit. Failure to do so, if it results in an injury to someone, could leave you open to a lawsuit.

As a homeowner, you have an obligation to ensure that visitors to your property are safe. You must keep walkways and steps in good repair, and regularly clear leaves, snow and ice so guests can safely walk on the property. If you are renting your home, you are responsible for its condition for your tenants. It is also up to you to ensure there are working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in the proper locations.

If you own a commercial property, such as a business or a restaurant, you have similar responsibilities to keep your property safe. You must ensure that floors are even and in good repair, and not wet or slippery due to snow or ice. If you are having construction work done, you must keep it sectioned off and adequately warn customers to avoid tripping hazards. Even things such as inadequate lighting can make you liable if someone falls and injures himself.

Finally, local, provincial and federal governments are liable if a person injures himself in a public space under their jurisdiction. This includes roadways and public transit, parks, airports and government buildings.