Sacramento Premises Liability
A Good Reason to Keep Your Home in Good Order
For many people, owning a home is the largest, longest-term investment in their lives. Homeowners spend countless hours and dollars to decorate and renovate. Beyond design and décor it’s also critical to identify problems with your property and take steps to repair and upgrade as necessary. From a financial standpoint, it makes sense to maintain your home well. Addressing problems while they are still small can prevent the need for larger expensive repairs. And issues that are not fixed tend to create additional, possibly even irreversible, problems that can affect your physical and fiscal well-being. However, there is another equally important reason to maintain your property that many homeowners often do not consider – “premises liability,” the liability on all property owners to keep their premises safe and free of hazards for other people.
The term “premises liability” refers to the legal obligation of the person who owns, possesses, or controls the premises as being the one responsible for any injuries arising from a condition of the premises. This means that as a homeowner you have a responsibility to guests, neighbors, and anyone passing through your property to make sure that there are no lurking dangers like shaky handrails or cracked sidewalks. If someone is injured because the homeowner failed to fix dangerous conditions or created unsafe conditions then the owner can be sued for damages. Neglecting proper home maintenance becomes not only a threat to everyone’s physical safety, but also to your financial security in the advent of a lawsuit. There are several rules involved with premises liability at the state and local jurisdiction levels. In California, premises liability is based on general principles of negligence and is controlled both by statute and case law. Research the relevant laws in your area to know your responsibilities and rights.
Several times throughout the year you should note any changes or deterioration to your property. You might conduct these mini-inspections at the beginning of a new season, to assess issues created by weather conditions such as rain or snow. To truly ensure that your home is properly maintained you can schedule regular home inspections by a licensed inspector. While the majority of home buyers insist on an inspection before a new purchase, most people do not have another inspection after they are settled in the house. However, your property will continue to succumb to the effects of decay, weather, and general wear-and-tear after you own the home as much as it did before. And just as you go to your doctor for yearly check-ups or take your car in for regular tune-ups, it makes sense to have a professional inspector evaluate the health of your home on a regular basis. For example, American Pride Home Inspection Service (www.sacramentoinspection.com) recommends that you have a yearly home inspection. With the information you’ll get in a comprehensive inspection report you can prioritize and budget for projects. When it comes to home maintenance, what you don’t know can hurt you – and your family, friends, and neighbors.