What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is the legal responsibility of a landowner to ensure that the property is safe and maintained. If the property is unsafe and an injury or damage occurs, the landowner may be responsible, depending on the situation. For a tenant to be able to sue you, they would have to prove negligence by showing evidence that you or your employees caused the hazard, knew about the hazard but did not fix the issue, or should have known about the issue.
The most common of these cases involve slips and falls, swimming pool accidents, dog bites, and inadequate maintenance of the property.
What Are You Liable For?
Determining what components of the property you are liable for depends on how you run your business. Most manufactured home communities rent out the lots and tenants own their own homes that occupy the lots. In these situations, the owner of the home would be responsible for the inside of the home. For example, if they slipped in their kitchen and broke a bone, they could not sue you for this. As a mobile park owner, you would be responsible for common areas, such as pools, laundry building, front office, roads, and pavement. You could also be responsible if the water mains are not maintained and it causes a tenant’s home to flood.
If you own the manufactured homes and rent those out to the tenants, you may be legally liable for injury or damage that happens inside the home if it is determined it was due to a lack of maintenance.
How Can It Affect Your Business?
If you are sued for negligence and have a premises liability case brought against you or your business, you may be required to pay the tenant’s expenses, such as medical, lost wages, damage to property, pain and suffering, punitive damages, or wrongful death damages. The costs can be substantial for your business. You can reduce liability by maintaining your property, fixing fences and pavements, carefully screening tenants and employees, getting property inspections, and making sure there are necessary warning signs where needed.
The time to prepare for a premises liability case is not after it happens, it is before. Along with taking the proper precautions and procedures with your business and property, you also want to make sure that you have the right insurance coverage that best suits your business. Contact us today to talk to one of our agents about your insurance coverage and policy needs.