Holiday House Injury

21 OCT 2021


A holiday house in regional NSW is looking like a perfect option for many of us this summer. But what happens if you are injured while staying at a holiday rental property? In a recent District Court decision, the “slipperiness” of uncovered outdoor steps at a property close to the beach, was considered to be a breach of the duty of care owed by the homeowner.

Mr Carpenter was enjoying a golf weekend with other golf enthusiasts, with whom he was staying at a rental property at The Entrance. The group had returned to the holiday house after a game of golf and were conducting a presentation, based on the results of the game. As Mr Carpenter accepted his prize of golf balls, he stepped down from the terracotta tiled verandah, onto a short flight of steps. The steps were slippery and Mr Carpenter slipped on the edge of the first stair and fell, injuring his lower back.

The Court accepted that it was likely that the steps were slippery due to an accumulation of sea spray or moss (or both) and the absence of a hand rail was relevant, as a rail could have minimised the risk of an injury. The Defendant had breached its duty to Mr Carpenter, as an invitee to the property, to ensure that the property was safe and free from hazards.

Mr Carpenter was unable to play any more golf for the rest of the weekend. After a period of time off work, he was unable to return to his previous duties as an electrical fitter in crane maintenance, and eventually became unemployed. He was no longer able to play golf at the level he had previously. Mr Carpenter was awarded compensation in the sum of $284,092.18.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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