The state of California requires all property owners to use reasonable care in the ownership and maintenance of their property. Visitors to a property can be broken up into:
Invitees have a landowner’s express or implied permission to be on the property. Invitees are typically friends, relatives, or neighbors and are owed the greatest duty of care.
Licensees have a landowner’s express or implied permission to be on the property, but are there for their own purposes, such as salespeople. Property owners will usually owe licensees less of a duty of care than invitees, but must warn licensees of hazardous conditions if:
- the landowner is already aware of the hazardous condition, and
- a licensee is unlikely to discover the hazard on their own
Trespassers are not authorized on a property. Property owners generally don’t owe trespassers a duty of care, unless that trespasser is a child.