- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 10 Oct 2020
An occupier, or occupant, is a person/persons or organisation who lives in or uses property and/or land, either legally as the owner or tenant, or illegally as a squatter. The degree of occupational control over property or land is the most applicable test for who the occupier is. Tenants and licensees are considered the occupiers of the property in which they live, work or operate a business. The status of occupier is usually shared between a licensee and the owner.
Owners of property which has been let to tenants are considered to be the occupiers of areas over which they still have full control, i.e. the common staircase or landing in a flat. The landlord may often be responsible for carrying out repairs and maintenance as part of their duty as occupier.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 covers the liability of the occupier to visitors – defined as being persons to whom the occupier gives an invitation or permission (express or implied) to enter or use the premises. A visitor will become a trespasser and so not fall under the liability of the occupier if they exceed the permission of the occupier. There is a duty of care placed upon the occupier by the Act, which states that reasonable care must be taken to ensure the safety of the visitor, similar to the common law standard of care relating to negligence.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 covers the liability of the occupier to people other than visitors, i.e. trespassers. While it is much narrower, the Act stipulates the scope of duty that an occupier has to ensure the safety of a trespasser; for example, where the occupier knows about risks relating to the premises; where the occupier knows that the trespasser is in the vicinity of those risks; or where the risk is such that the occupier is expected to have offered some form of protection.
See also: Occupant capacity of a building or space.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
4 ways to ensure certificates are valid.
How Paul Williams bent over backwards to overcome racial barriers.
Organisation revises actions around dealing with COVID-19.
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.
An American chimney feature with a colourful past.
Homes based on need, not ability to pay.
Historic England adds 216 entries to the 'at risk' register.
Will cycling and walking provisions be preserved?
Assembly point levels range from relative to ultimate.
Signs are pointing to a recovery for the construction industry.
Campaigning to change perceptions about American Brutalism.
Sprinkler head configurations can prioritise people or property.
Report from The Carbon Project reveals shortcomings and recommendations.