Rental Property Tenant Snow Removal

Who Shovels Rental Property Snow The Tenant or the Property Owner

Shoveling of the tenants walks, we don't do that. We add in the lease that the tenants are responsible to shovel their own walks. And also, keep in mind that if the walks aren't shoveled; your municipality is likely to give you a fine. So, find out what that fine is and give the tenants fair warning. We don't put the amount that the fine is, but we do let the tenants know that they are required by lease to shovel the front walks, which is reasonable. I mean, it is their property. And we provide them with shovel often just to make sure it's there. It's not always easy for tenants to have those items, but it is their home, it is their property. Even if it's a duplex or triplex, we put it into every lease and then the tenants collectively can kind of work it out amongst themselves; it's similar way that you might do with your own neighbors.

Therefore, in the lease agreement, tenants are responsible to shovel their own walks and they're responsible for any fines incurred if when checked by city council they are found in breech. If the city were to fine you, you would just pass the bill onto the tenants, you would bill the tenants. You would also then remind the tenants if it got to this point, that they're actually in default the lease. It is built into the lease that they were obligated to keep those walks clean. And again, find out what are the consequence of an un-shoveled walk way. Here in Philadelphia, I think you actually have to have 18 inches wide of width. So, it is imperative to inform the tenants of the width the municipality requires for cleaning. If your municipality stipulates 24 inches, 30 inches, or if they need the entire sidewalk be free and clear of snow, then it's recommended that the tenants know in advance.


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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