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Old 01-27-2011, 04:33 PM
Status: "Wasting Away in El Wastebury" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Westbury,NY
2,495 posts, read 4,313,917 times
Reputation: 873
Default Are tenants responsible for removing snow?

My LL now says I'm responsible for removing snow from my walkway and driveway, is that legal?
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:41 PM
 
125 posts, read 154,814 times
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Leave it there and let someone slip and break their leg. Will you then be the one who gets sued? Tell him to get his shovel out and get to work or it'll be you who slips and breaks a leg
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:44 PM
 
27,211 posts, read 20,216,772 times
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If he removes it and misses a patch and you slip it's his fault. If he leaves it there and you slip then you're going to have to sue nature because nature dumped it on you.

It is, however, good practice to take care of your residents because in turn they'll take care of the property, hopefully.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Huntington
877 posts, read 1,785,157 times
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Absolutely if you're renting a house. When renting an entire house the tenant is supposed to take care of the house as if they owned it (of course we all know that tenants in that situation do as little as humanly possible). That includes snow removal, mowing the lawn and watering, cleaning out gutters, raking leaves, etc. Unless it's stipulated in your lease that the landlord will take care of those things, you are responsible for them.

If you're renting in a garden apartment, you're paying for services like that in your rent, which is why it's more expensive to rent in an apartment complex than it is to rent a house when you're comparing rent for square footage. The complex will plow parking lots, interior roads, sidewalks, etc. They mow the grass and trim the bushes. All included in your higher-per-square-foot rent.

Regarding renting an apartment in a house, check your lease. It all depends on what you agreed to with your landlord. Landlords are expected to keep everything safe - this includes removing ice, snow, etc., unless you agreed to remove it yourself, which would be stiipulated in the lease.

Last edited by AndreaII; 01-27-2011 at 05:41 PM..
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:49 PM
Status: "Wasting Away in El Wastebury" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Westbury,NY
2,495 posts, read 4,313,917 times
Reputation: 873
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaII View Post
Absolutely if you're renting a house. When renting an entire house the tenant is supposed to take care of the house as if they owned it (of course we all know that tenants in that situation do as little as humanly possible). That includes snow removal, mowing the lawn and watering, cleaning out gutters, raking leaves, etc. Unless it's stipulated in your lease that the landlord will take care of those things, you are responsible for snow removal.

If you're renting in a garden apartment, you're paying for services like that in your rent, which is why it's more expensive to rent in an apartment complex. The complex will plow parking lots, interior roads, sidewalks, etc. They mow the grass and trim the bushes. All included in your rent.

Regarding renting an apartment in a house, check your lease. It all depends on what you agreed to with your landlord. Landlords are expected to keep everything safe - this includes removing ice, snow, etc., unless you agreed to remove it yourself, which would be stiipulated in the lease.
I was informed that the lease says he's not responsible and I live in part of a house. I have been shoveling part of it myself for years, me and my downstairs neighbor each did our part, but my downstairs neighbor is now annoyed with me for not shoveling the driveway in the morning when she wants as well as "not doing my part" according to her. We used to share a shovel (her's) but after this I'm going to have to get my own.
Thanks for your help, looks like I'll be buying a shovel tomorrow (if I can find one..LOL) I guess I'll just shovel my own path and she can shovel her's. What about the sidewalk, though?
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,738 posts, read 16,300,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johninwestbury View Post
I was informed that the lease says he's not responsible and I live in part of a house. I have been shoveling part of it myself for years, me and my downstairs neighbor each did our part, but my downstairs neighbor is now annoyed with me for not shoveling the driveway in the morning when she wants as well as "not doing my part" according to her. We used to share a shovel (her's) but after this I'm going to have to get my own.

Thanks for your help, looks like I'll be buying a shovel tomorrow (if I can find one..LOL) I guess I'll just shovel my own path and she can shovel her's. What about the sidewalk, though?
What does the lease actually say?

Sometimes in multi-family houses where the LL does not live on the premises one tenant will get it in the lease and also get money off the rent for snow removal, mowing the lawn, putting out the trash cans and taking them in, etc.

It sounds like you and the neighbor have been sharing the responsibility, so the LL is used to it being this way. Why does she expect you to shovel the driveway when you don't have a car?

TIP: Never spoil a landlord or they get used to it and then suddenly "it was in the lease!"

As for the sidewalk, you and your neighbor can be stubborn and not do it and if anything happens to anyone, the LL (and his homeowner's insurance) is liable.

But if it were me, I would just do it for general convenience and safety for myself and others. Especially if I am already out there shoveling the paths inside the property line anyway.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Huntington
877 posts, read 1,785,157 times
Reputation: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johninwestbury View Post
I was informed that the lease says he's not responsible and I live in part of a house. I have been shoveling part of it myself for years, me and my downstairs neighbor each did our part, but my downstairs neighbor is now annoyed with me for not shoveling the driveway in the morning when she wants as well as "not doing my part" according to her. We used to share a shovel (her's) but after this I'm going to have to get my own.
Thanks for your help, looks like I'll be buying a shovel tomorrow (if I can find one..LOL) I guess I'll just shovel my own path and she can shovel her's. What about the sidewalk, though?
The sidewalk is your responsibility too, unfortunately. If the owner of your property lived in the house you're renting, they would have to take care of the sidewalk. A tenant renting a house is supposed to take care of a property as if they were the owner. I just heard the NYC Mayor today tell homeowners to shovel their sidewalks.

This came up in my realtor's office when my tenants and I were going over our written lease for 2 hours. These tenants had a relative who managed an apartment complex, so they were very familiar with how a rental complex is run. To them, a rental is a rental whether it's for a house or an apartment in a complex. They had the wrong idea that they would get the same 24/7 maintenance service for my house rental as they would expect to get in a complex. So in their minds it was a better deal to rent a whole house and get lots more living space, than to pay high rent on a small apartment in a complex.

My tenants were astounded that they would have to take care of snow removal. They actually thought that I would hire someone to plow the snow for them each and every time it snowed (or maybe they thought I'd drive 45 minutes with a shovel in the back of my car and dig them out).

That misconception on my tenants' part caused many problems over the course of their tenancy. No matter how many times they were told by their own lawyer, my lawyer, myself, their realtor, they just wouldn't accept the fact they were on their own with maintenance. I threw in lawn care, shrub trimming, sprinklers, leaf cleanup - there was very little they had to do on the exterior, and I didn't want the place to turn into a wreck - but I drew the line at snow removal.

Last edited by AndreaII; 01-27-2011 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
15,738 posts, read 16,300,679 times
Reputation: 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaII View Post
The sidewalk is your responsibility too, unfortunately. If the owner of your property lived in the house you're renting, they would have to take care of the sidewalk. A tenant renting a house is supposed to take care of a property as if they were the owner. I just heard the NYC Mayor today tell homeowners to shovel their sidewalks.

This came up in my realtor's office when my tenants and I were going over our written lease for 2 hours. These tenants had a relative who managed an apartment complex, so they were very familiar with how a rental complex is run. To them, a rental is a rental whether it's for a house or an apartment in a complex. They had the wrong idea that they would get the same 24/7 maintenance service for my house as they would expect to get in a complex. So in their minds it was a better deal to rent a whole house and get lots more living space, than to pay high rent on a small apartment in a complex.

My tenants were astounded that they would have to take care of snow removal. They actually thought that I would hire someone to plow the snow for them each and every time it snowed (or maybe they thought I'd drive 45 minutes with a shovel in the back of my car and dig them out).

That misconception on my tenants' part caused many problems over the course of their tenancy. No matter how many times they were told by their own lawyer, my lawyer, myself, their realtor, they just wouldn't accept the fact they were on their own with maintenance. I threw in lawn care, shrub trimming, sprinklers, leaf cleanup - there was very little they had to do on the exterior, and I didn't want the place to turn into a wreck - but I drew the line at snow removal.
John is not renting the entire house like your tenants were. Just an apartment in it.

If I were renting an entire house, I would expect to take care of those things like I would expect to put oil in the tank for the heat or pay the gas heat bill. I wouldn't expect it to be standard procedure for a multi-family house, whether or not the LL lives there.

I know some owners of legal two and three families and they usually chose one tenant to do that stuff (with money off the rent in return) or had their landscaping company do the snow removal at the rental properties just like they did lawns, etc., during the warmer months.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Wallens Ridge
3,131 posts, read 2,422,996 times
Reputation: 17201
Hey JIW

What if a piece of a low flying airplane fell on to the property of the L.I. railroad and hit an illegal alien ? Now the train will be delayed and you won't make it to the Pine Barrens in the dead of winter? Would you be happy or pissed off?

Bottom line go out and shovel...don't be a lazy ass
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Huntington
877 posts, read 1,785,157 times
Reputation: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Love_LI_but View Post
What does the lease actually say?

Sometimes in multi-family houses where the LL does not live on the premises one tenant will get it in the lease and also get money off the rent for snow removal, mowing the lawn, putting out the trash cans and taking them in, etc.

It sounds like you and the neighbor have been sharing the responsibility, so the LL is used to it being this way. Why does she expect you to shovel the driveway when you don't have a car?

TIP: Never spoil a landlord or they get used to it and then suddenly "it was in the lease!"

As for the sidewalk, you and your neighbor can be stubborn and not do it and if anything happens to anyone, the LL (and his homeowner's insurance) is liable.

But if it were me, I would just do it for general convenience and safety for myself and others. Especially if I am already out there shoveling the paths inside the property line anyway.
Regarding the sidewalk, it's the tenants' responsibility in this whole house rental to keep it clear. The tenants are renting the entire premises and take on the responsibility of maintenance on the exterior as well the interior unless it's stipulated in the lease agreement that the landlord will be responsible.

If the tenants decide not to clear the sidewalk and someone falls, the tenants will be held responsible for their negligence if it's their responsibility to clear the snow.

Last edited by AndreaII; 01-27-2011 at 05:46 PM..
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