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Old 02-05-2014, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Up North
3,406 posts, read 7,560,362 times
Reputation: 3053

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So, I started renting a room in someone's home a couple months ago. When I was looking at the place I was told that she gets people to remove the snow. This house is occupied by the landlady, one male tenant, and myself (a female tenant). Both of the tenants are students.

The male tenant is always shoveling snow and even removes snow off of all of our cars. She always seems to be getting him to try and fix things around the house as well. He is currently shoveling the sidewalks right now and I'm wondering if I should be doing the same. I have been wondering if she knocks money off his rent for shoveling snow. I don't want to seem like an ass but I have a lot of HW to do, and phone calls to make. This house is huge by the way and there is a lot of space to shovel...its just outside of Boston near route 9 where all of the giant houses are.


She asked me two storms ago if I could help with the driveway so she could send the Brazillians who did it home. I was really sick and I told her I would but I'm really sick. She then got kind of annoyed and said "Well if you're sick don't worry about it" and kind of seemed mad at me.

Usually, when I rent a full apartment..the shoveling is taken care of.

Who is responsible for shoveling in this situation? Should I be down there shoveling? I pay over $700 a month for this room and she knows I'm a full time student.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
6,482 posts, read 9,657,643 times
Reputation: 5490
What does it say in your lease?
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:30 AM
 
4,685 posts, read 3,614,137 times
Reputation: 7382
I think everyone should pitch in, especially if everyone use the driveway. So do you have a car? If you do, then you should help, even if you are not as strong as the guy. You cannot hide behind the "oh I am a woman" bit, nor can you hide behind "I have lots of HW" bit. Both are non-excuses if you use the driveway like everyone else.

Now if you do not use the driveway, then maybe you can just take care of the small walkway?
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,079 posts, read 5,336,528 times
Reputation: 1611
If you have a car, then go clear that off and shovel around it... at the minimum. Why don't you ask the other male tenant what's the deal with snow removal between him and the LL. Tell him you thought your LL was supposed to do it and hear what he has to say. Maybe he does get rent reduction, maybe not and doing it just because he's a nice guy. If latter, then you should pitch in a little.

I used to live in a in-law apt and the LL is supposed to do snow removal. But the LL is 85+ years old, so I always shovel so it's easier on him. Even though my LL is a cheap guy, I'd feel a little guilty if he has a heart attack shoveling my driveway while I'm on my bum watching tv. Eventually, he shovels just barely enough for me to get out of the door and into the car, so I just end up shoveling most of my side.... C'est la vie for living in N.E.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Cape Cod
11,843 posts, read 8,251,936 times
Reputation: 20361
If I was there and another tenant or the landlady was digging out I would help out. There is something about a snow storm that has people come together to help each other. Of course if it becomes expected that you help dig out then that is a different story.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
6,105 posts, read 7,264,857 times
Reputation: 4485
Where is that big strong boyfriend when you need him?
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Camberville
12,030 posts, read 16,768,354 times
Reputation: 19758
What does your lease say?

My landlord hires someone to shovel the walkway and steps if there is more than 3 inches of snow because we're a corner lot and it would be a lot of work to clean it out. Unfortunately, we (myself and two roommates, plus the couple downstairs) end up doing the bulk of it because the guy who shovels doesn't show up until early evening most of the time.

Driveways have ALWAYS been the tenant's responsibility. I don't know of any apartment where the driveway and cleaning off cars has been anyone's responsibility but the people who park there. Unless it's explicitly in your lease that the landlord is responsible for the driveway (and even then, i'd expect you to still need to clean off your own car), then you should be out there doing it.

If you don't want to shovel the driveway, park on the street. I find it easier to shovel out from an on-street parking space in MOST storms than shoveling out a driveway.

Being a student isn't an excuse. I work full time (50-60 hours a week), am a grad student with a heavy courseload, and, to top it off, am a woman with serious lung damage from chemo. I was still out shoveling for 3 hours today (the plows REALLY plow us in every storm), albeit with quite a few breaks to give myself a chance to breathe. Being a full time student is no excuse to be lazy and not pitch in.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Massatucky
1,166 posts, read 2,007,158 times
Reputation: 1800
It is the owner's responsibility under THE LAW. If you are a tenant it is one of the services you are entitled to expect. If you have you own private egress and agree in writing to clear it...well here's the law.

105 CMR: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

410.452: Safe Condition
The owner shall maintain all means of egress at all times in a safe, operable condition and shall keep all exterior stairways, fire escapes, egress balconies and bridges free of snow and ice, provided, however, in those instances where a dwelling has an independent means of egress, not shared with other occupants, and a written letting agreement so states, the occupant is responsible for maintaining free of snow and ice, the means of egress under his or her exclusive use and control. All corrodible structural parts thereof shall be kept painted or otherwise protected against rust and corrosion. All wood structural members shall be treated to prevent rotting and decay. Where these structural elements tie directly into the building structural system, all joints shall be sealed to prevent water from damaging or corroding the structural elements.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Florida
490 posts, read 895,286 times
Reputation: 655
When I was a young man and just got out of the military I got my first apartment that was one floor of a three decker in Boston. The landlord did not live there but 30 miles away. He made a deal with me to reduce my rent if I emptied the trash and shoveled the snow. It was well worth it to me as I lived there for cheap. I would never do that for free because I'm paying rent and it's his responsibility to take tare of it.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Camberville
12,030 posts, read 16,768,354 times
Reputation: 19758
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwaggy View Post
It is the owner's responsibility under THE LAW. If you are a tenant it is one of the services you are entitled to expect. If you have you own private egress and agree in writing to clear it...well here's the law.

105 CMR: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

410.452: Safe Condition
The owner shall maintain all means of egress at all times in a safe, operable condition and shall keep all exterior stairways, fire escapes, egress balconies and bridges free of snow and ice, provided, however, in those instances where a dwelling has an independent means of egress, not shared with other occupants, and a written letting agreement so states, the occupant is responsible for maintaining free of snow and ice, the means of egress under his or her exclusive use and control. All corrodible structural parts thereof shall be kept painted or otherwise protected against rust and corrosion. All wood structural members shall be treated to prevent rotting and decay. Where these structural elements tie directly into the building structural system, all joints shall be sealed to prevent water from damaging or corroding the structural elements.

Stairway - not paths, porches, sidewalks, or driveways.
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