the landlord will remain as occupier for the parts of the building he has retained as a result of the letting; where a landowner gives a licence to a person to use premises and retains the right to enter premises to do repairs, the owner retains control and is the occupier; and finally where the owner employs independent contractors to do work on premises, the owner will generally retain sufficient control to be classified as an occupier, however there is a possibility that the contractors will also be found to be occupiers, depending on the amount of control they have while the work is in progress.
The liability of occupiers for lawful visitors is governed by Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and will be discussed in respect of Messrs Jones and Thompson. The issue of rights and liabilities between Sunshine Beach Holiday Park Owners and Messrs Jones and Thompson will now be discussed.
The principle of common duty of care bestows a duty upon the occupier to take such care in all circumstances of the case as is reasonable to ensure that a (lawful) visitor will be reasonably safe when he uses the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted to be there. (s.2(2) Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957) Further the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 goes on to state that a licensee (a person to whom a license is given) is owed a contractual duty of care (s.5(1) Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957).
One of the most important defence to actions brought under the Occupiers’ Liability Act is the defence of contributory negligence, that is where a visitor fails to use reasonable care for his own safety and such failure causes him damage. The effect of this will be a reduction in damages. When the common duty of care is considered, the circumstances that are included are the degree and want of care which would ordinarily be looked for, in such a visitor. Contributory negligence may allow for a reduction in damages or may extinguish damages per