If you own property, Premises Liability is a legal concept you should familiarize yourself with, particularly if you have an old or junk RV parked on your property. A property owner is responsible for ensuring the safety of anyone who enters their property. This responsibility extends to the conditions and potential hazards that may be present, including old, unused, or dilapidated RVs.
The implications of Premises Liability
When you own property, you owe an inherent duty of care to those who enter it. This duty means that you may be liable for damages if someone suffers an injury due to a hazard, such as a deteriorating RV. This liability can result in significant legal and financial consequences.
The liability and other risks of invited visitors and trespassers
If someone you’ve invited onto your property gets injured because of your junk RV, you may be liable. Imagine hosting a gathering and a guest, or even worse, a child, gets hurt while playing on, in, or under the RV. Such incidents can lead to substantial legal ramifications.
Even a trespasser—someone you didn’t invite—could enter your premises, and if that intruder gets injured by the junk RV, there’s a possibility they could file a personal injury claim against you. Such a possibility is significant if you’re aware that trespassers frequently access your property, such as if it’s a known shortcut to a nearby location. Also, in today’s upended world of large numbers of homeless people living on the streets, your derelict RV could even become an attractive nuisance, resulting in unhoused people taking up residence therein.
There are some additional legal concerns with storing a junk RV. Beyond premises liability, there are other considerations to be aware of:
State and local blight laws
Many states have established blight laws prohibiting the storage of non-operational vehicles, including old cars, trucks, and junk RVs. These laws aim to maintain the aesthetic appeal of neighborhoods and ensure safety. These laws have also been enacted in county and city jurisdictions as well. Even if your junk RV isn’t violating statutes, it might still be a source of contention within your community. An unsightly RV can be a nuisance to neighbors and potentially decrease property values in the area. Many local governments and Homeowner’s Association (HOA) actions against property owners arise from RVs parked on a homeowner’s private property.
The challenge of selling a junk RV
While selling a junk RV might seem appealing, traditional methods might not work with a dilapidated or inoperable RV. There are options.
Engaging specialized RV dealers
A practical solution is to approach specialized RV dealers who purchase RVs irrespective of their condition. These dealers offer competitive prices and often provide free hauling services, ensuring you not only rid your property of potential hazards but also earn money. Another alternative is automotive scrap yards, which will take the vehicle off your hands (and property) and recycle it as scrap.
The imperative of addressing junk RVs
A junk RV on your property isn’t just an eyesore; it’s a potential legal and financial risk. The liability rests with you if an injury occurs due to the RV. The most prudent action is to engage with a specialized dealer or salvage company, have the RV removed, and possibly derive some cash value from the sale.