Occupiers liability 

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  • Occupiers liability
    • When looking at a question and seeing that harm has been suffered on the land or as a result of using the land- need to ask four questions.
      • 1- where did the damage occur?- if there was an emanation from the premises to another property then looking at a nuisance claim. where as if the harm occurred on the premises then either looking at occupiers liability or common law of negligence
      • 2- was the harm caused by the danger due to the state of repair of the premises or an activity done on the premises? found in s1 (1) and clarified a little by s1 (2)
        • Cases: fairchild v Glenhaven funeral services- LJ Brooke stated duty on occupier to visitors to take care that they are reasonably safe in using the premises. Also stated that the act does not apply where harm suffered as a result of a third party so have to look to common law of negligence
          • Case applying to 84 act- Revill V Newbury- looked to law commission report stated that act applied to a continuing source of danger
            • Keown V Coventry health care NHS trust- have to look at whether the premises were inherently dangerous? or did the danger arise from the activity of the claimant in using the premises? In this case injured when trying to climb fire escape and failed. So looking at seeing if the occupier fails to maintain premises.
      • 3- Who is the occupier of the premises? s1 (2) said that the act does not alter the rules of common law. key identifying feature- occupier= sufficient degree of control over the state of repair of the premises.
        • So looking at previous common law cases.
          • Wheat  V E Lacan- Claimant fell down the stairs and died after no light bulb at the top of the stairs and no staircase railing. Court held that occupier ought to realise that failure to take care on his part to repair the premises may result in injury to someone who is lawfully on the premises
            • No need to be in possession of the property to be considered an occupier. Harris V Birkenhead- local authority considered occupiers. owner of the property no longer has sufficient degree of control of the premises.
              • Perhaps two occupiers with different functions. Collier V Anglian Water Authority- both considered occupiers, but Anglian water authority considered occupiers in respect of the repair of the premises
                • Perhaps two occupiers who are jointly responsible. AMF International V Magnet bowling- both occupiers considered liable. Electric equipment was damaged after installed and rain fell because the roof was no finished.
      • Was the claimant a visitor or non- visitor? so here looking at what act to use. 1957 act applies to visitors and 1984 act applies to non-visitors
        • In 1957 act there are provisions detailing who is considered a visitor. s1 (2) stated that persons will be treated as a visitor if at common law they were an invitee or licensee. i.e- permission from the occupier or coming there to which occupier has particular interest
          • s2 (6) tells us that those who enter premises in exercise of a right conferred by law are considered visitors i.e police officer who have a warrant to search the property
            • s5 (1) those who enter in pursuant to a contract are considered visitors i.e person there to fix the boiler
              • There is also a general provision that persons may have implied permission to enter onto premises for a lawful purpose until such a permission is revoked. Robson V Hallet- Lord Parker- occupier of house gives implied permission for someone to open gate and knock on door until such a provision is revoked. i.e coming to sell goods but occupier says no please leave, gives reasonable time to leave but they don't. Then thats when not covered, they would be a non-visitor


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