As a landlord, you are liable for reasonably foreseeing risks related to your property. According to the legislation, you must foresee these risks as any ‘reasonable person’ would. In the recent case of Dillion v Hair , a landlord was found to be liable for placing an outdoor mat on the inside of their property’s front door, on top of a polished floor, which caused a Century 21 real estate agent to slip over and sustain a significant injury to her left knee.
It wasn’t just the placing of the mat that was found to be negligent the landlord failed to check if the mat had a non-slip backing and failed to adequately warn the agent that the mat might be slippery. The agent relied on section 5B of the Civil Liability Act 2002, by successfully arguing that the landlord did not take proper precautions against a risk of harm. In this case it was found that the risk was foreseeable, not insignificant and something that any ‘reasonable person’ would have identified.
The agent ended up obtaining a verdict against the landlord for $213,764.
The lesson here is clear. If you are a landlord it is important that you consider all potential risks related to your property and, if a risk is identified, take proper precautions against a risk of harm.
Our Conveyancing & Property Law Team has worked for thousands of landlords right across NSW since 1969. If you identify a potential risk and you’re not sure what to do, give our team a call.