Florida homeowners, private property owners, and commercial property owners are subject to liability provisions under premises law. All Florida residents share certain common responsibilities for the general safety of any person who enters their property including a home, retail store, or office. Homeowners and landowners are responsible for maintaining the conditions of each square foot of a lot.
In most cases, homeowners have a duty to repair any known hazards, such as loose stairs or broken railings. If a homeowner knows of such a danger and must wait to make the repair, he/she must cordon off the danger or posts signs to warn any visitors of the condition. Landowners must keep their property free of obvious hazards and dangerous conditions and may not set traps capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.
Premises liability extends over all areas of property ownership. It involves any injuries from negligent conditions on the premises of hotels, apartment complexes, shopping centers, and office buildings. All property owning entities and lessees share some liability. If someone is injured on a commercial property, damages could be apportioned to business lessees and the property owner.
Private and commercial property owners are responsible for the varying levels of safety for anyone who enters their property according to three different classifications of visitors:
Florida law provides special protection to children on the basis that they are not able to decipher between right and wrong. This exception is called the attractive nuisance doctrine. This doctrine applies specifically to homeowners with swimming pools, trampolines, or old appliances or cars on their property.
These conditions can entice curious children. Homeowners are responsible for removing or otherwise locking and securing these items. Locks, perimeter fences, and secured gates are acceptable means in most cases. If a child is injured or killed after falling into an unfenced swimming pool, that property owner could be held liable for damages.