Wet Umbrellas and Liability
Property owners can sometimes be responsible for items left behind by their guests. For businesses in wet and tropical climates, those items are usually wet or broken umbrellas.
By law, the manner in which the item is left behind determines the extent to which the property owner is responsible, or liable, for that item. The 3 main scenarios that occur often involve mislaid, lost, or abandoned property (discussed below).
As a property owner, there are a few ways in which liability can be managed so as to prevent financial loss, unhappy guests, and a tarnished public image. First, property owners must make sure all employees and facility managers understand how mislaid, lost, and abandoned umbrellas are different. Then, a strategy must be created to handle each scenario properly.
Was the Umbrella Mislaid or Lost?
Understanding the difference between mislaid and lost property is key. In his book titled Hospitality Law: Managing Legal Issues in the Hospitality Industry, Stephen Barth explains:
Mislaid property are items that are deliberately placed somewhere, but the owner forgets to retrieve it. If someone leaves an umbrella in a can by the entrance then fails to retrieve it, it is considered “mislaid.”
Lost property include items that are placed somewhere, and the owner forgets where he or she placed it.
Avoid Liability with Wet Umbrella Dispensers
To avoid the pitfalls of mislaid or lost property, it is a good idea for property owners to encourage guests to always maintain possession of their belongs. Wet umbrellas present a unique challenge, however, because they can leave a trail of water that forms dangerous puddles through entryways, in elevator lobbies, and down hallways.
Wet umbrella bag dispensers are an ideal solution, giving guests the ability to neatly wrap, stow, and maintain control of their wet umbrellas safely.