If I want to sublease a space to teach dance, what sort of legal protections should I get for student injuries?

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If I want to sublease a space to teach dance, what sort of legal protections should I get for student injuries?

I am searching for an existing space to rent to teach dance lessons, so that I will have more clients before I buy my own studio space. However, as I will not be employed by the studio I sublease from, I’m not sure that the studio’s insurance would cover any injuries of my

students or other liabilities. Some of the space rental agreements I’ve seen clearly state that all liability would go to me, not the studio I’m rent from. What steps can I take to protect myself from liability without breaking the bank?

Asked on January 6, 2018 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Liability varies by responsibility.   A landlord/owner of the building will still have liability for any building or structural defects.  They can try to put this on you, but a plaintiff will still go after the landlord if they are actually the culpable party.  However, that doesn't mean that the plaintiff won't try to drag you into an expensive lawsuit suit as a second defendant should something happen.
So...with that in mind, consider a couple of different options.  Option 1 is to get your own general insurance.  This provides you some protection in the event that you are sued.  Option 2 is to have every participant sign enrollment forms for your classes which include an express waiver for any liability associated with the building.  Basically, they understand they are entering the building at their own risk.  Have a premises liability attorney draft this for you.  It might run you $200-500, but it could save you a $10,000 lawsuit bill down the road....so it's a worthwhile investment.  Either option or both options will give you more protection.
You should also have an attorney look over the lease agreement before you sign it.  You may be assuming that it means you take on all liability for the structure, when it just means that you are assuming liability for the activities (i.e. dancing) during your periods of possession.


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