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Thread: Advice on public liability

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    Advice on public liability

    I need some advice for my wife - Recruitment Business - public liability.

    She rents premises on the first floor of a business complex. The unit she rents is on the first floor with another unit. Both units are owned by the same person. The park is sectional title. The stairs are common for both units and someone else rents out the other unit. She has installed a security gate at the bottom of the stairs with an intercom and buzzer.

    She would like to know if somebody hurts themselves (staff or clients) on the stairs - who is liable, bearing in mind that once she put the gate up the stairs more than likely does not fall part of the complexes corporate body (she thinks) ?
    She also needs to know who is responsible if someone injures themself in the unit she rents herself ?

    Is she as the tenant liable or the landlord who owns the unit, but not the stairs, or the body corporate ?
    She also needs to know if she is liable who is the best to contact for this insurance ? Would OUtsurance be tho one ?

    Thanks

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Hi Kevin - having served on a Body Corporate I would guess at the following, but one of the legal fundi's on our forum will have to give you the correct answer.

    I would think that the stairs are Body Corporate whether they have a security gate at the bottom of them or not.

    Anything of a fixed nature causing injury from inside the unit (eg Ceiling falling on someone) would probably be the responsibility of the owner. The owner would need to have known if it was a possible hazard so that (s)he could have attempted to repair/replace/secure it.

    Any injury cause by furniture (eg person cutting themselves on an open metal filing cabinet) would probably be the responsibility of the tenant.
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    Email problem Phil Cooper's Avatar
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    Hi Kevin

    The person held liable for the injury would be sued. If it was caused by a defect in the building, the owner would be held liable. If it was something she did (eg wet floor, someone suffering food poisoning following a cup of tea she supplied)) - your wife would be responsible. If it was argumentative (eg slips on cracked tile - owner says wife caused it, wife says she told them weeks ago and they did nothing to fix it) - then BOTH could be in firing line.

    Bluntly - do NOT go to OutSurance. They have VERY limited cover wordings, and "stand alone" liability is not in their line! Best thing is to chat to a Broker (like me) who can give neutral advice or quote.

    If the gate installed is bolted to the wall, it almost certainly would fall into the Corporate Body's insurance, as it has become part of the structure - which is NOT to say that they will not try to counter-claim against her as the person having it installed.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Cooper View Post
    If the gate installed is bolted to the wall, it almost certainly would fall into the Corporate Body's insurance, as it has become part of the structure - which is NOT to say that they will not try to counter-claim against her as the person having it installed.
    If the body corp gave permission to an owner or tenant for the installation of the gate would they still have any grounds for a counter claim?
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    Thanks for the input guys .......

    Andy - this is one of the things worrying her .....

    If the body corp gave permission to an owner or tenant for the installation of the gate would they still have any grounds for a counter claim?
    If someone slips on the stairs ..... could be a bit of a problem.

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    Email problem Phil Cooper's Avatar
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    Kevin

    Please bear in mind for a claim the claimant has to prove negligence.

    So, just slipping on stairs will not give rise to a successful claim unless negligence is proved.

    BUT - they can claim - and that is where the policy is useful - for the legal defence costs.

    If your wife has Office Contents insurance (with a decent insurer) it will include some Public Liability cover on the policy anyway.

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