The New Jersey law provides that, “absent negligent construction or repair, a landowner does not owe a duty of care to a pedestrian injured as a result of the condition of the sidewalk abutting the landowner’s property.”
However, an exception to this rule applies to commercial landowners, whom are held to a higher standard. In other words, commercial landowners owe a duty to reasonably maintain the sidewalk abutting their property. If they fail to do so, the property owner can be held liable for injuries that occur on the sidewalk. The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that when a property owner is truly nonprofit, this standard of care does not apply.
However, in determining if the property owner is nonprofit, the court must look to the nature of the use of the property, not the nature of the ownership. If the nonprofit is acting as a business, for example, by charging for parking or running a school, then they can be held liable.