Know Your Snow Removal Responsibilities For Your Rental Property
Snow might create a pretty winter wonderland, but it’s not as captivating when you need to get rid of it on a regular basis. If you manage property in an area that’s prone to lots of snow, removing snow frequently can be a tiring and seemingly never-ending process. However, it’s important to keep the walkways and sidewalks around your property clear and safe lest your tenants or their visitors slip and fall. Snow removal is a task you need to stay on top of during the winter months, but is it the sole responsibility of the property owner or management, or can you require your tenants to shoulder that burden?
Know the local laws
On a rental property, it’s important to maintain common areas so you’re not liable for any accidents that might happen if snow and ice are left on walkways. You could be legally and financially responsible if one of your residents slips on an uncleared path. If your city has a law requiring snow and ice removal, it’s up to you as the property manager or owner to maintain safe walkways on and around your property.
Designate the responsible party
If you own or manage a multi-unit property, the best course of action is to take on snow removal yourself or hire a service. If you own a single-family rental property, you can include snow removal in your lease agreement as the tenant’s responsibility. When you create the tenant-landlord agreement, it’s important to be clear about when and where the snow needs to be shoveled. For example, you should specify how soon after a snowfall a path needs to be cleared and how wide the path needs to be.
Offer an incentive
In areas where it snows frequently, it might be a good cost-saving measure to arrange for your tenant to shovel your property, especially if you don’t live close by. It’s common for a landlord to offer a monthly rent discount if a tenant honors the snow-removal agreement.
If you have any questions regarding a property that you own and how you can arrange for snow removal, click here to speak to one of our property management professionals.