What is a property owner’s liability regarding the use of an easement on their property?

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What is a property owner’s liability regarding the use of an easement on their property?

We recently bought a house and were informed by our real estate agent that our property has an appurtenant easement that permits people to use a steep pathway to access the street below our property. How can I waive any liabilities in case of injuries? Do I have to place a street sign informing people that I won’t be accountable for any injuries occurring while using it?

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to fully waive liability for injuries: property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for anyone upon it--even trespassers; though the standard of care is higher for protecting those lawfully upon the property.

That said, you're only liable if you did something wrong: for example, if you live in the north, if you don't clear the snow and ice from the path; or if you don't fill in ankle-twisting holes or loose pavers or bricks. If  someone falls from their own clumsiness, that should not result in your liability.


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