Release of liability

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  • #3605

    My neighbor asked if he could lease 3 acres I own in another parish. This land adjoins his & would be for recreational purposes for himself and his family. It’s desirable vacant land with a large pond on it. He has fished in the pond over the years with my permission. In return he would take care of all the upkeep on a regular basis. I travel & would like to lease it but have concerns about protecting myself from being sued. Do you have some advice? Thanks.

  • #3609

    Lex
    Keymaster

    Land owners get sued all the time. The question boils down to whether the land owner was negligent. That is, he knew of a dangerous condition and took no steps to correct the condition or there was a circumstance that by operation of law makes him liable.

    Although there is not much that can be done to stop someone from suing, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the chances of a suit and/or increase the odds that you would win a suit.

    For starters, have plenty of liability insurance and see about getting an umbrella policy which can be very inexpensive.

    At a minimum, have your neighbor sign a very tightly worded hold-harmless agreement as part of the lease. Basically it would make him liable for any and all problems that might arise. It would be best to have a lawyer prepare the documents for you. A hold-harmless agreement is not an absolute protection, but it would certainly be helpful.

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