While perhaps fun for kids, unusually heavy rain can cause problems for commercial property landlords, including flooding, mudslides, and mud buildup.
According to visitdallas.com, October ties with April for the second wettest month in Dallas (not surprisingly, May is first). October averages 3.5 inches of rain for the month, which means that Dallas usually gets more rain in October than Seattle, Washington (3.27 inches according to usclimatedata.com).
Under Texas law, premises operators owe a duty to keep their premises safe for business invitees against conditions on the property that pose an unreasonable risk of harm. This duty owed by premises operators, however, does not render the operator an insurer of the invitee’s safety. According to the Texas Supreme Court, ordinary mud or dirt in its natural state can and often does form a condition posing a risk of harm, but not an “unreasonable” risk of harm. In other words, mud that accumulates naturally on an outdoor concrete slab, without the assistance or involvement of unnatural contact, is nothing more than dirt in its natural state and is not a condition posing an unreasonable risk of harm.
Plain dirt which ordinarily becomes soft and muddy when wet, or mud that accumulates due to rain and remains in its natural state, are not dangerous conditions of property for which a landlord may be liable.
One word of caution, however: if a premises operator undertakes to remove the mud, it must do so reasonably, and take care to avoid creating a dangerous condition during the removal.