Occupiers’ liability claims—lawful visitors
Produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson
Occupiers’ liability claims—lawful visitors

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Occupiers’ liability claims—lawful visitors
  • Background
  • The duty of care
  • Grounds for a claim
  • Who is a visitor?
  • Express permission
  • Implied permission
  • Who is an occupier?
  • The control test
  • Applying the control test—parties who qualify as an occupier
  • More...

Background

The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (OLA 1957) was enacted to provide for a ‘common duty of care’ owed by occupiers of premises. The duty was ‘common’ in that it was owed to various categories of lawful or authorised visitors such as invitees, licensees and those whose right to be on the premises arose from a contract.

OLA 1957 was introduced to replace the rules of the common law to regulate the duty owed by an occupier of premises to their visitors.

The common duty of care is not owed to trespassers who may have rights arising from the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 (OLA 1984). For further guidance on the duty owed by an occupier to unauthorised visitors, see Practice Note: Unauthorised visitors—the duty of care.

The duty of care

An occupier of premises is under a duty to their lawful visitors to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe when using the premises for the purposes for which they are invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.

It is worth noting that the level of care that the occupier should have exercised is variable depending on the nature of the claimant eg whether the visitor was a child or an adult or a workman who possessed, or professed to have, some particular

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