May 20, 2016

I'm just a tenant, why do I have to tidy the premises?

The weather had been very hot for several weeks and they all prayed and wished for rain to fall and dampen the grounds. So when the downpour started, everyone was excited and the relief could be felt in the air. And then the rains continued, and continued…

…and refused to stop. The winds also joined forces and blew ferociously. The joy residents felt began to turn into fear, afraid that God had decided to punish them with flood just as it happened in the days of Noah.

Anyways, prayers were answered and the storm and rain passed.

And residents were left to deal with the aftermath of the storm. A resident of the neighbourhood, Mr. Ayoka’s roofs had been peeled off by the storm and his beautiful garden had been turned into an ugly mess.

Mr. Ayoka was angry at the wind, the storm, the rain and nature in general and stubbornly refused to clean up the mess. He insisted that nature come clean up the mess it had caused. Mr. Ayoka’s roof had fallen on his lawn and onto the road and 7-year old Peter who was innocently riding his bicycle fell on the roof and sustained some injuries. Of course, Peter’s parents sued and Mr. Ayoka was unable to avoid liability as an occupier of the property.

Occupiers' liability is an aspect of tort law that places a duty of care on the occupier of a property to people who visit or trespass on his property. This means the occupier of the premises will be held liable for any accident or incident that happens due to his negligence, such as leaving the premises in a defective or dangerous condition. So an occupier is responsible for people who visit his property with or without his permission; he is liable for their safety except if the person is a criminal.

Simply put, occupiers’ liability helps to ensure that occupiers put their properties in safe conditions. Where an occupier fails to do this and an innocent party sustains an injury on his premises or property as a result of his negligence, the occupier will be held liable.

Ed’s Note: This article was originally posted here on the TYlegal blog.