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Liabilities of Owners

There are many areas of the law in which real estate owners are exposed to liability. The law prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, family status, or physical or mental disability in the area of selling, leasing, or lending upon real estate. Nuisance is a potential area of liability. A nuisance is a condition, activity, or situation (such as a loud noise, foul odor, an obstruction, something injurious to health or indecent or offensive to the senses) that interferes with the use or enjoyment of property.

A landowner is liable to someone injured on his or her property if there was a duty of care that was breached and this directly caused injuries to another who suffered damages as a result. Usually, the landowner must have knowledge of the dangerous condition and the ability to control the condition and prevent the injury. Landowners, tenants, and other parties may be responsible for cleaning up properties affected by hazardous or toxic substances even though they did not cause the contamination. A contaminated property is a trap for the unwary.

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