Property Rights: Owner as Final Arbiter

Property Owner as Final Arbiter

When two visitors have a dispute on private property, the property owner, or a duly selected representative of the property owner, becomes the final arbiter of the dispute.

This has always been understood by society. You can see this in old movies, where the bartender tells two patrons, about to engage in a physical altercation, to "take it outside, fellas".

In your own home, you, as the homeowner, have the final say in the resolution of an issue, whether between a guests, or between yourself and a guest.

In an argument between two guests, the homeowner generally will try to resolve the issue between the two guests, but has the final say in what will occur on their property. If the argument were over who would drink the last beer, for instance, the property owner would get to make that decision.

The property owner has the right to ask any person on their premises to leave. If a person, who has been asked to vacate the premises by the property owner, fails to comply with the request, the property owner can ask the police to arrest the non-compliant visitor, charging them with trespassing.

This applies to business owners, and their property, as well. If two patrons of an establishment have a disagreement, or of the owner and a patron have a disagreement, the owner, or a duly selected representative of the owner (such as the Manager On Duty), becomes the final arbiter in the situation.

If an establishment makes the decision to disallow smoking on their premises, and a patron chooses to ignore this decision on the premises, the owner, or a duly selected representative of the owner, has the right to ask that patron to stop and/or leave the premises. If the patron fails to leave upon request, the police may be dispatched to arrest the patron for trespassing.

If, in an establishment which permits smoking, a smoking patron and a non-smoking patron were to argue over smoking policies, the property owner, as the Final Arbiter, has already made their decision.