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Responsibility for snow removal on rented property

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Posted on March 3, 2023

Living in a residence that you have rented from someone else can create some confusing gray areas when it comes to your responsibilities versus those of your landlord.

For example, if you live in a rented residence, it may be unclear whether snow removal is your responsibility or your landlord’s. News Channel 20 has received the answer from the Springfield Public Works Department.

Is snow removal the landlord’s or tenant’s responsibility?

A Springfield city ordinance establishes clearly that it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove snow from walkways. It is not your responsibility as a tenant living on the property. The ordinance also requires snow removal to take place promptly, the morning after the snowfall occurs.

Are there penalties for not having snow removal?

If your landlord does not have snow removal performed in a timely manner, he or she could face fines. The amount fined can range from $100 to $1,000 depending on whether it is a first offense.

What should you do if your landlord does not perform snow removal?

The city of Springfield investigates any complaints about property owners not performing snow removal. If your landlord has not cleared the sidewalks within the allotted time, you should call the city’s housing division to report it. If you sustain an injury because your landlord has not cleared the sidewalks, you may seek legal recourse.

Property owners have a responsibility not only to tenants such as you but to all pedestrians passing by on the sidewalk.