Occupiers Liability

Occupier’s Liability
Definition of premises – s.3(1) OLA 57
Classify status of person:
Invitee/ Licensee – s1(2) OLA
Enter pursuant to contract – s.5 OLA
Enter pursuant to rights conferred by
law – s.2(6) OLA
OLA 84
Persons other than lawful visitors
Entering pursuant to a private right of
Entering in exercise of rights conferred
by an access agreement
NB if Act not applicable, common law
applies – British Railway Board
Visitor → Non-Visitor
May happen due to Time (Stone), Space (Anderson) or Purpose (R v Smith v
Duty of Care
Occupier owes DOC – s.2(1) OLA
Duty of Care
If common law – DOC not automatic
*Exclusion clauses – UCTA77:
S1(3) business liability
S3(1) – cannot use contract to reduce
S2(2) – damage to property if
S2(1) – death or personal injury
CANNOT be excluded
Standard of Care
S2(2) OLA 57
s.1(3) DOC owed IF:
1. Occupier is aware of the danger
or has reasonable grounds to
believe it exists – Keown
2. Occupier knows or has
reasonable grounds to believe
the non-visitor is in the vicinity of
the danger – Donoghue v
Folkestone Properties
3. Risk is such that the occupier is
expected to provide some form of
Standard of Care
S1(4) OLA 84 – Tomlinson
Special provisions:
Child – s.2(3)(a) – children likely to be
less careful than adults; Parental duty or
adult supervision – Jolley
Placing warnings
S1(5) – occupier can discharge duty by
taking reasonable steps to give warning
or discourage person from incurring risk
Skilled visitor – s.2(3)(b) – Roles
Independent contractor – 2(4)(b) – only
for faulty execution, maintenance or
repair work
BUT NOT if occupier had taken
1. In entrusting work to independent
contractor – Haseldine cf
2. To see that contractor was
competent – Ferguson
3. To check that the work was
properly done – AMF
Warning has been placed – s2(4)(a) –
warning is not to be treated without
more as absolving liability – Roles case
Defences (If Occupier has come short
of the SOC)
1. Contributory negligence – s.2(3)
OLA – apportionment of
damages under Law Reform
(Contributory Negligence) Act
2. Volenti non fit injuria – s.2(5)
OLA – common DOC does nto
impose on occupier any
obligation willingly accepted as
his by visitor + s.2(4) – mere
knowledge of danger insufficient
1. Contributory Negligence – Revill
2. Volenti – Washwood
3. Exclusion of liability – as a matter
of public policy, should not be
allowed to exclude
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