Printed from at 11:18 AM, Oct 4 2015
Talk » Rentals » Discussing 'Do Landlords have to Shovel Snow?'

Do Landlords have to Shovel Snow?



Our recent snowfall made me think of a question. Are landlords required to clear a path in the snow outside of the entrance to their buildings? Most buildings I see have little walkways where the snow as been cleared, but occasionally one doesn't. Are the owners/managers of these buildings breaking any laws? I would suppose this is an egress issue.


"While snow is falling, complaints will not be taken about snowy or icy sidewalks. After the snow stops falling, property owners must clear a path for pedestrians and remove snow from sidewalks next to bus stops and hydrants as follows:

If snowfall ends between 7 AM and 5 PM, property owners must clear sidewalks within 4 hours.
If snowfall ends between 5 PM and 7 AM, property owners must clear sidewalks before 11 AM.
The City may issue property owners a summons for a failure to clear the sidewalks within these time frames.

You can make a complaint at any time about snow or ice on sidewalks in front of public property, such as bus stop shelters, park paths, or schools. You can also make a complaint about snow or ice on sidewalks in front of private property after property owners have had an appropriate amount of time to clear their sidewalks."

Under certain conditions, it's safer to leave a layer of less-slippery snow than to expose slippery ice, or create slippery ice with rock salt and dripping temperatures.

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In general landlords are required to clear pathways of snow

And to add to ahart's comment, I believe there is more liability to an owner who shovels and someone gets hurt vs unshoveled. A summons may just end up a lot cheaper at the end of the day

"I believe there is more liability to an owner who shovels and someone gets hurt vs unshoveled."

From a citation standpoint perhaps, but certainly not from a tort standpoint. If you don't shovel, that won't help you in a negligence suit. You could try to argue that not shoveling is better, but a jury will be skeptical. As well, your insurance company would settle before you went to trial, then either jack up your premium or cancel your coverage all together after paying the claim. The policy itself also might contain language about the property owner has an affirmative duty of clearing any hazards as a condition of coverage, and if it's a particularly shifty insurance company, then they might try to slither out of indemnification all together, leaving the property owner holding the bag.

Well I am certainly not an attorney so I defer...
But of course, not shoveling may impede and force all to detour around your property avoiding the 4 year tortious dance. :)

My landlord will never shovel snow and the parking lot is covered with ice behind the cars and I fell twice in the last 3 weeks.

What are my rights to sue him for the doctor's visits I had to do.


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