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Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 & 1984

The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 (OLA 1957) imposes a duty of care on occupiers to all lawful visitors to ensure that they are reasonably safe for the purpose for which they are on the occupier's premises. A party will be deemed to be an occupier under OLA 1957 if they have sufficient control over the premises. The occupier owes the same duty of care to all its visitors, except in so far as the duty may be extended, restricted, modified or excluded in some circumstances.

The position today is that the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 governs liability to lawful visitors and the 1984 Act governs the duty owed to those entrants loosely referred to as 'trespassers'. Occupier' of a property means the person who has ultimate control over the affairs.

The duty of care to trespassers arises only when the occupier is aware of a danger or has reasonable grounds to believe that it exists, knows or has reasonable grounds to believe that a trespasser may be, or come into the vicinity of danger and, in all the circumstances of the case, the risk of a trespasser coming into

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