UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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I purchased some land that has a right of way easement on it
with an adjacent land owner so he can have access to his dock
at the water. Currently there are steps built there that are
in bad shape and need repair. Who has to fix those steps and
am I liable if someone gets hurt on those?
Asked on April 27, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New York
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
You are responsible for repair, in the sense that if anyone is injured on them due to their condition, you, as the property owner, would be liable. All property owners are liable for injuries caused by "unsafe conditions" existing on their land: they have to take steps to prevent any person lawfully on or using or accessing their land--including a neighbor with an easement--from being injured by known or foreseeable conditions. Since you know the steps are bad shape, if anyone is injured by this known condition, you will be liable. Therefore, it behooves you to maintain or repair the steps.
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