Home Ownership

Sun Media

It is curious to me that people as homeowners do not know what their responsibility is to the community when owning a home. You may think well this is my property and I can do as I wish, but this is not the case.

For example, if you do not salt or plow your driveway and someone enters your premises and falls, you will be held responsible. There is a premise in the law that invitees on your property have a reasonable expectation to be safe. This means in the winter you clear snow and ice and in the summer there is no hazards like fault stairs. Invitees on the property include people such as postal workers, city employees and even your friends and family.

Having home insurance is therefore imperative. If someone is hurt on your property, your insurance is there to respond. If you have no homeowner’s insurance, you can be held personally responsible for any damages that occur.

Another thing to remember is that you can rely on a third party to perform your outdoor maintenance if they are doing a good job. This can be a defence if someone comes on your property and falls. However, it is up to you to ensure this third party is reliable, dependable and does a good job. If not, you are still personally on the hook. That is why before I hire any snow removal companies I always ask if they have insurance. If I am getting sued, then so are they.

Just remember as a homeowner you have a responsibility to keep your property safe for the public, you would want the same consideration as well.