We’ve all seen those patches of sidewalks with considerable bumps, gaps and an unlevel, difficult surface. So, as a Cheviot Hills or Beverlywood homeowner, who is responsible when buckled or hazardous sidewalks abutting a homeowner’s lot are the cause of a third person’s injury? Attorney Michael Harris describes the standard rules that apply to this particular rough road of home ownership.
- The abutting owner generally is not liable to maintain the sidewalk or warn of sidewalk hazards.
- An abutting owner may be liable if the danger is caused by the owner, such as leaving grease, vegetable matter or debris on the sidewalk.
- An abutting owner may be liable if shrubbery or overhanging tree limbs from the abutting owner’s property encroaches on the sidewalk.
- If tree roots are making the sidewalks defective, the abutting owner is generally not liable where the tree is growing on the parkway between the sidewalk and the street, but the owner may be liable where the tree with the offending roots is growing on the abutting property owner’s lot.
- If the tree in the parkway is planted by the lot owner, he would be responsible for sidewalk damage done by the tree.
If there is a sidewalk you know of that is in dire need of repair, you can call the City of Los Angeles’ Service Request at 1(800) 996-CITY or 3-1-1.