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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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I own property in city of Ithaca New York. What is the law

Customer Question

I own property in city of Ithaca New York. What is the law about trespassing. I own jointly with another person. It is a fixer upper. I financed the home and the other person was to do the work. Not much work has been done and now person is injured and is hiring people off the street to do work on the property. I am concerned about liability. Can I post signs by law to keep people off the property due that I own part of the house? There is no homeowners insurance on property and i don't know if my builder has contractor insurance.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 8 months ago.

Hello Shawn --

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So long as you hang some no trespassing signs on the property and the building, you then have the right to call the police and charge a person with trespassing if they are not authorized to be on the property. A simple trespassing charge just carries a fine and a notation on the person's criminal record that they were trespassing. However, if the other owner of the house has given permission to these people hired to perform work on the property and verifies that with the police, the police will not arrest or remove these people from the property even with the appropriate no trespassing notices posted.

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TYpically, if actual building permits for all or any of the work have been issued by the local building authority to the contractor, then the contractor will have to show the building authority proof of insurance (liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance) but those policies generally only cover that contractor's employees and subcontractors and it will not extend to anyone else that your co-owner might hire off the street to perform work on the property.

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My suggestion here is that you purchase some liability insurance on the property while the work is being performed and/or you will have to come up with some solution with your co owner regarding his either getting the work done properly and appropriately or signing over his portion of the property to you because he is unable to uphold his part of the contract between the two of you to get the place fixed up to turn over to a new owner as soon as possible.

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