Langsam Law LLP

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Who is Responsible for Snow Removal?

Posted February 19, 2021

Who do you think is responsible for snow removal after a storm?

  • Owner
  • Tenant
  • Landlord
  • Municipality

The truth is, it could be any of the above depending on the circumstances. Outside of New York City, every town and village has its own ordinance. Commercial and residential properties typically specify who is responsible in the lease agreement. For commercial properties, it is more often than not the tenant. For residential properties, it usually depends on the type of home being rented. Multi-dwelling buildings typically have provisions for the management company to clear snow from the premises, while for single-family residences the responsibility often falls to the tenant. If the occupant of a residential property is the homeowner, clearing the property is their responsibility unless they are part of a complex or homeowners’ association that contracts a third party for snow removal.

When it comes to public spaces, the City or municipality is often responsible. New York City Department of Sanitation publishes rules and regulations specifically related to snow removal. Crosswalks, for example, are cleared by the City, however sidewalks outside of leased or owned commercial and residential properties are the responsibility of the owner or tenant to clear, depending on the lease terms.

Regardless of who is responsible, any person who is injured due to non-compliance with snow removal regulations may make a personal injury claim, which could include more than one party, for example the management company and building owner.

If you have experienced a slip-and-fall injury during this most recent spate of bad weather, contact Langsam Law immediately. While you have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim in most cases, photos and testimony of the conditions at the time of the incident are extremely helpful to prevail in your case. If the responsible party is the City of New York or any City agency, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days.

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