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Monday, May 4, 2015

The Perils of Living Near a Golf Course

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – May 4, 2015 – Question: Who is responsible for the damage if a golf ball strikes a home and breaks a window? Or what if the ball hits a person on the property? – Burt

Answer: The law requires that the golfer act reasonably and use ordinary care when playing. All of the golfers on the course, whether hitting the ball or walking to their next shot, are expected to be careful to keep themselves and their fellow players safe.

If the golfer is playing normally and accidentally hits another person or a neighboring house, there is no recourse for the injury or damage. By choosing to live on a golf course, you are accepting the risk that comes with that. But if the golfer is messing around or intentionally aiming at the house, he or she would be held responsible.

Generally the golf course is off the hook as well, as long as management uses care in the design and operation of the course. If, however, your problems started only after the course made changes to the layout, you may be able to recover your damages and make the course take action to minimize any future issues with your home.

It has been said many times that location is the key ingredient in finding a house. If you are concerned about getting hit with a ball or having to repair the occasional broken window, it would be best not to live on or near a golf course. Personally, I'd be willing to take the chance with stray golf balls on my property because this duffer can always use the replacements.

About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program.

The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Copyright © 2015 Sun Sentinel, Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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