Start a new topic

Snow removal question?

In a non owner occupied two family house whose responsibility is it to remove the snow from the sidewalks, Paths to the doors and the driveway? There is nothing in the lease that indicates that it is my responsibility. My one tenant thinks it is my responsibility and since I live forty five minutes away, I say it is his responsibility.  There is nothing in the lease indicating whose responsibility it is. Any ideas?

Usually the landlord is responsible for all maintenance (including snow removal and yard work) unless it is stated in the lease that the tenant is.  Even if you have a contract or language in the lease that shifts the responsibility, the likelihood is that the courts would still hold the property owner liable, and leave it to the property owner to sue the person they had the contract with.  However, a contract could specify that the other person is responsible for any legal defense, and to hold the property owner harmless, but again if they breach the contract you have to sue.  Insurance could reduce your liability, but in the end it's probable that just shoveling the snow and spreading ice melt yourself is a cheaper and more reliable solution.  Additionally leaving a bucket of ice melt and such by the front door can help.  Good tenants would probably throw a cup of ice melt down without any hassle.
A Lease should always spell this out. BUT I always assume this responsiblity because "slip and fall" claims are a big and often occuring headache for a Landlord. Hire a company to take care of this if you have to, It is worth the saved headache. If you choose and IT IS permitted in your state's statutes, then make sure that you have it in writing that the tenant is responsible for snow removal. BUT you do take a chance, as even if a stranger were to walk by and the tenant fails to clear sidewalks in due time, YOU are the one that is liable most often.
Login to post a comment