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Commercial tenant and landlord issues: Premises liability

Owning an Orange County business often comes with plenty of satisfaction, but it also comes with plenty of responsibility. One of those responsibilities is to take reasonable measures to keep the premises safe for those who frequent the business, but accidents do happen. Whether you are the landlord or the commercial tenant, dealing with premises liability issues can be tricky.

Whether you are responsible for any injuries that occur on the property often depends on the classification of the individual who suffered the injuries. Clients and customers are considered invitees to whom you owe a duty of care. The same can often be said for licensees such as delivery people, vendors and the like. The third category includes trespassers, which includes those people not allowed onto the property such as burglars or vandals. The degree of responsibility for the safety of a particular individual varies depending on under which category he or she falls.

When you negotiated your lease, it more than likely contained provisions regarding premises liability responsibilities and insurance. In general, the landlord will take responsibility for common areas, as long as the tenant has no responsibility to maintain them, and the tenant will retain responsibility for any injuries that occur inside the leased space. You will need to refer to your lease to be sure.

As you can see, numerous factors determine whether a commercial tenant or landlord assumes the responsibility for an injury on the property. Not only will you need to refer to your lease for the space, but also your premises liability insurance when an accident occurs. It may be useful to have all of the relevant documentation reviewed by an Orange County attorney before taking any steps to resolve a claim to be sure that you may be liable for the injuries suffered.  

Source: trustedchoice.com, "Premises Liability Insurance: Who's to Blame?", Accessed on Jan. 13, 2018

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