Consult Attorney Before Putting Out Winter Weather Signs

Some tenants put out “wet floor” signs during rainy or snowy weather to warn customers about slippery conditions to watch out for. It’s important to be cognizant of potential areas for liability, but you should also consult your attorney about what precautions you should take as far as these types of warnings are concerned. A duty of care—that is, a duty to protect people coming onto the property from danger while they are there—might actually fall on the owner’s shoulders, making the owner liable if a dangerous condition exists and letting you off the hook. But if you get involved by posting your own signs or warnings, a court might decide that you’re also responsible and have a duty to someone who injured herself as a result of the condition.

First, check your lease to see what your obligations are when it comes to these warnings, and then talk with your attorney about what you should do to comply with those obligations while protecting yourself from liability. And, if it’s solely the owner’s responsibility under the lease to maintain the sidewalks, parking lots, and other common areas that can become dangerous in bad weather, make sure that it keeps a consistent schedule and does a thorough job.