The main class of persons who qualify as licensees are “social guests.” Such a guest, even though he is invited by the owner, is not an “invitee,” since that term applies only to business guests and other persons identified. A social guest does not become an “invitee” even by gratuitously doing incidental services, such as washing up after a dinner party.
Property owners are required to ensure that conditions are safe for licensees, but the level of care owed licensees is lower than that owed to invitees. A property owner is only required to take reasonable care to protect licensees from any known hazards on the property and does not have a duty to inspect for and discover unknown dangers, as he/she does with invitees. It is understood that the guest takes the premises on the same footing as the owner. Since the courts presume that the licensee takes the premises on the same footing as the owner, the owner is required to use reasonable care to place the guest in the same position of relative safety as himself. This means that where the owner knows of a dangerous condition which he could reasonably anticipate that the licensee may not discover, he must warn the guest of that danger. A warning is all that is required; the owner is not obligated to remedy what he knows to be a defective condition. There is no duty to inspect the premises to find any hidden dangers and the owner is not liable if the premises are unsafe because of faulty construction.