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Occupiers' Liability Act 1984

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Occupiers' Liability Act 1984

1984 CHAPTER 3

An Act to amend the law of England and Wales as to the liability of persons as occupiers of premises for injury suffered by persons other than their visitors; and to amend the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, as it applies to England and Wales, in relation to persons obtaining access to premises for recreational or educational purposes.

[13th March 1984]

Be it enactedby the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1Duty of occupier to persons other than his visitors.

(1)The rules enacted by this section shall have effect, in place of the rules of the common law, to determine—

(a)whether any duty is owed by a person as occupier of premises to persons other than his visitors in respect of any risk of their suffering injury on the premises by reason of any danger due to the state of the premises or to things done or omitted to be done on them; and

(b)if so, what that duty is.

(2)For the purposes of this section, the persons who are to be treated respectively as an occupier of any premises (which, for those purposes, include any fixed or movable structure) and as his visitors are—

(a)any person who owes in relation to the premises the duty referred to in section 2 of the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 (the common duty of care), and

(b)those who are his visitors for the purposes of that duty.

(3)An occupier of premises owes a duty to another (not being his visitor) in respect of any such risk as is referred to in subsection (1) above if—

(a)he is aware of the danger or has reasonable grounds to believe that it exists;

(b)he knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that the other is in the vicinity of the danger concerned or that he may come into the vicinity of the danger (in either case, whether the other has lawful authority for being in that vicinity or not); and

(c)the risk is one against which, in all the circumstances of the case, he may reasonably be expected to offer the other some protection.

(4)Where, by virtue of this section, an occupier of premises owes a duty to another in respect of such a risk, the duty is to take such care as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to see that he does not suffer injury on the premises by reason of the danger concerned.

(5)Any duty owed by virtue of this section in respect of a risk may, in an appropriate case, be discharged by taking such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to give warning of the danger concerned or to discourage persons from incurring the risk.

(6)No duty is owed by virtue of this section to any person in respect of risks willingly accepted as his by that person (the question whether a risk was so accepted to be decided on the same principles as in other cases in which one person owes a duty of care to another).

(7)No duty is owed by virtue of this section to persons using the highway, and this section does not affect any duty owed to such persons.

(8)Where a person owes a duty by virtue of this section, he does not, by reason of any breach of the duty, incur any liability in respect of any loss of or damage to property.

(9)In this section—

  • " highway " means any part of a highway other than a ferry or waterway;

  • " injury" means anything resulting in death or personal injury, including any disease and any impairment of physical or mental condition; and

  • " movable structure " includes any vessel, vehicle or aircraft.

2Visitors using premises for recreation etc.: modification of Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

At the end of section 1(3) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (which defines the liability, called " business liability ", the exclusion or restriction of which is controlled by virtue of that Act) there is added— "but liability of an occupier of premises for breach of an obligation or duty towards a person obtaining access to the premises for recreational or educational purposes, being liability for loss or damage suffered by reason of the dangerous state of the premises, is not a business liability of the occupier unless granting that person such access for the purposes concerned falls within the business purposes of the occupier

3..

3Application to Crown.

Section 1 of this Act shall bind the Crown, but as regards the Crown's liability in tort shall not bind the Crown further than the Crown is made liable in tort by the Crown Proceedings Act 1947.

4Short title, commencement and extent.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Occupiers' Liability Act 1984.

(2)This Act shall come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed.

(3)This Act extends to England and Wales only.

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