Legal action should only be a last resort to problems between neighbours. Trees often cause friction. Lighting fires is subject to regulation. Trespassing can include dumping rubbish. Neighbours are responsible for the costs of building or repairing fences. The Water Act covers drainage matters between neighbours. Drainage rights can be obtained over a neighbour’s land. Owners of domestic animals can be responsible for any harm they cause others, such as if your dog escapes and bites someone. Dog bites should be reported to the police or local council. Restricted breed dogs include Pit Bull Terriers. Residents can complain of noise to their local council. The use of lawn mowers, power tools, record players and musical instruments may be banned at certain times. Regulations on the music from pubs, cabarets, community halls and entertainment venues seek to balance the interests of all parties. Noise standards also cover cars, motor cycles, mini bikes, go karts and trail bikes.

Contributor

Peter Cotter

Solicitor, Leo Cussen Centre for Law

Injuries on your premises

Last updated

1 July 2020

What are ‘your premises’?

You are responsible for the safety of people using your premises. A place is your premises if you decide who is and who is not allowed onto it. If the landlord is responsible for the maintenance of and the repairs to premises, then the landlord is also responsible for people who hurt themselves on the premises. Premises include any fixed or movable structure, including any vessel, vehicle or aircraft.

What is your responsibility?

You must take all reasonable care to ensure that any person on your premises will not be hurt because of the state it is in. If you do not, you will have to pay compensation to anyone who is hurt while on the premises.

In deciding whether you have taken reasonable care, a court will look at:

  • how likely it was that an injury would occur;
  • how serious the injury is;
  • how the injured person came to be on your premises;
  • the nature of your premises;
  • whether you knew, or ought to have known, that people were likely to be on your premises;
  • the age of the injured person;
  • the ability of the injured person to appreciate the danger; and
  • how difficult or expensive it would have been for you to fix the thing that caused the injury, or to protect people from it.

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