Real Estate Agents Could Be Liable For Open House Injuries
Residents of the Greater Toronto Area may be aware that under the Occupier's Liability Act in Ontario, they have a responsibility to maintain their property so that visitors to it are not injured. Accordingly, it is important to take steps to keep the property well lit, and walkways clear of slippery materials or debris.
In addition, things designed to aid visitors to the property in staying safe-such as handrails-should be well maintained. If a visitor is hurt as a result of something like this, they could decide to take legal action.
Readers may not be aware that people who live at a property are not the only ones who could be held responsible is someone gets hurt. For example, real estate agents should be aware they could be sued if someone is hurt while they are showing a house. The reason for this is the definition of "occupier" in the Occupier's Liability Act. It is defined as "a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of premises or the activities there carried on."
While it is in the best interest of real estate agents to know about the house they are trying to sell, this definition makes it that much more important that agents are well acquainted with the property they are responsible for during a showing. If there is a defect, it should be fixed or a sign posted to let people know about the potentially dangerous situation.
People who are hurt while touring a prospective house should know they may be able to take legal action. They can explore their legal options with a lawyer who has experience with the Occupier's Liability Act.
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