The amazing aspect of life in us is that people are usually very generous with each other.
This generosity includes the division of our property. Growing up on a farm during the crisis of the 1980s, I was well aware that the survival of our farm – and the survival of most of our neighbors ’farms – depended on what we all shared, from machines, equipment and tools to work and ideas.
Of course, the division of their possessions is not only a professional custom of the people of our region. Personal things are also often shared with others. Usually one neighbor shares an appliance or trimmer with another neighbor, while someone can borrow or borrow a garden tool or even use a lawn mower.
Like every aspect of modern life, sharing our property, professionally or personally, involves some legal considerations.
Usually, it is undeniably legal to share your property with others. However, if an object that is to be shared is something for which there are legal or licensing requirements for owning or owning, sharing the subject with someone who is unlicensed or legally unable to own the subject is problematic.
For example, one neighbor may lend a gun to another neighbor who is trying to remove some marmots. If the person who borrowed the gun has been convicted of a violent crime or a drug crime in the past, lending the gun to that person will put him in trouble. And you probably don’t need to remind people that sharing prescription drugs is illegal, even if the borrower and the borrower have prescriptions for the same drugs.
However, if borrowing something from others is legally allowed almost all the time, is there liability for the person borrowing the tool or machine?
As a rule, if the borrower does not know that the borrowed item is in a dangerous condition, he is not responsible. However, the knowledge of the borrower about the dangerous condition of the borrowed item may result in liability for the borrower.
This way, a person can lend a neighbor a garden tractor at a time when the borrower knows that the brakes on the tractor are faulty or just sometimes don’t work perfectly. In this case, if the borrower has suffered or if the borrower has injured someone else due to faulty brakes, the person giving the loan may be legally liable.
Therefore, it is important to make sure that any item that is lent to someone else is in good and safe working condition.
In addition, the proper operation of some elements sometimes requires some experience or unique knowledge. For example, a person can borrow a chainsaw from someone who has never used a chainsaw. If the user of the chainsaw causes harm to the user or another person, the person occupying it may be legally liable.
In other words, the borrower of the item to the borrower has a certain legal responsibility to ensure that the borrower of the item can safely and correctly use the borrowed item.
Lee R. Schroeder is a licensed attorney in Ohio at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, real estate planning and agriculture in northwest Ohio. You can contact him at [email protected] or on 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from a licensed attorney of your choice based on the specific facts and circumstances you face.