Mossy Steps – Is The Homeowner Responsible?


Making sure your house - and land falling within its boundaries - is safe for your postman or anyone else with a valid reason to be there, is a duty bestowed on the owner.

Slip, Trip and Fall Accident

If you're a homeowner or a postman who regularly delivers to a house that is not safe, this case is one for you to read.

Broken Ribs

Postal workers deliver to a variety of properties, houses, flats, apartments and office buildings. The responsibility for their safety lies with the owner of the building when they enter until they leave the property. This is often unknown to most property owners.

We were recently instructed by a postman with this very problem. As he left the property he was delivering to, he slipped on some moss covered steps and fell.

As a result of the fall, he broke a rib. Because ribs cannot be put into a splint like other broken bones, they need to be left to heal naturally which can take anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks, making this a considerably painful injury.

Safe for Lawful Visitors

"This case shows that homeowners need to be responsible for their property and ensure that it is safe for lawful visitors" said Gary Tierney, Partner at Simpson Millar. A postal worker is classed as a lawful visitor when they are delivering your post. It's useful to bear that in mind the next time you're wondering whether to de-ice the front steps or fix the broken gate.

For his injuries, the postman was awarded £3,000 in compensation from the homeowner.

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