Commercial Law Q&A

Commercial Law Q&A

Is walking up to my neighbour’s front door and knocking on it a trespass?

A recent High Court case touched on this topic. Although the case related to a Police Officer’s right to enter a person’s land and walk up to the front door and ring the doorbell the Court also addressed this topic in general.

The law recognises an implied licence to enter a person’s property and knocking on their door for a lawful purpose. It is known as an implied licence to enter property. However, the implied licence has limitations which can be implied or express. An implied limitation is one that is inherent in the case of someone just walking onto your property. Their right to come onto your property does not apply if they intend to commit any breach of the law. However, if it is not for an unlawful purpose then they have the right to do so. An express limitation would be something where you specifically make known (by way of a sign) that certain conduct is prohibited, or entry is to be refused. This you will commonly see in say shopping centres or public buildings where the implied restrictions on the licence for entry may be insufficient. So if for example a shopping centre operator or building owner wishes to restrict conduct which they consider to be undesirable such as pushing delivery trolleys through lobbies, talking in a library, skating in a shopping centre etc a sign may be necessary to be erected where people enter the property as it then creates an express limitation as a condition of you being entitled to enter the property.

Should you have any questions relating to matters such as this one please contact Solari and Stock Miranda on 8525 2700 to speak with one of our Commercial Law team or click here to request an appointment.

Written by Michael Solari
Photo by Vincent Wright on Unsplash

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