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Landlords & Tenants: Who’s Responsible for Snow Removal?

Pueblo Tenant Shoveling SnowIf you operate a rental property somewhere with snowy winters, you may be asking how to deal with the responsibility of snow removal. Regulations about snow removal for Pueblo rental property owners are remarkably varied and sometimes complex. On that account, it’s vital to assign snow removal responsibilities accordingly long before the first flakes fall. But who should be doing it – you or your tenant?  That depends on some factors, which we will discuss more closely below.

Local Ordinance

Initially, look up your local ordinance to discover more about your snow removal responsibilities. In many but not all regions, there are local laws on the books requiring property owners to remove snow from adjacent public sidewalks and driveways, usually within a certain period (usually 24 to 48 hours). But in other areas, local ordinances go beyond simply requiring snow removal. They may also outline where the removed snow can and cannot be piled up.

Some cities may require property owners to remove snow from fire hydrants, benches, or common areas adjacent to their property. Others may limit where you can pile the snow (tossing snow in the road is against the law in many towns) or how high you can pile snow up across a walkway. Some may even limit what kinds of road salt or other deicing materials you can use on your walkways and driveways.

Whatever the local ordinances state, it’s essential to make a move to avoid getting hit with fines for improper snow removal.

Property Type

When dividing up snow removal responsibilities, who is allotted the duty also relies on what type of rental property you own. For illustration, multi-family property owners are almost always responsible for snow removal. However, for single-family rental homes, most owners and landlords may delegate the responsibility of snow removal to the tenant.

In numerous cases, this arrangement may work, especially if your tenant already handles yard maintenance and other basic tasks. However, it’s important to consider that the local ordinances still apply, so you must educate your tenant on proper snow removal practices to prevent running afoul of the law.

Tenant Ability

Another important factor is your tenant’s ability to perform snow removal tasks appropriately and punctually. If your tenant isn’t physically able to conduct such tasks or is considered a member of a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you may have to create other arrangements. Even though requiring a disabled tenant to do their snow removal is not technically illegal, a lack of consideration for your tenant might have a negative effect on your tenant relations. In such situations, you may find the more ethical and profitable option to be hiring a professional Pueblo property manager to do it for your tenant or simply doing it yourself if you prefer.

Lease Documents

Most single-family rental property owners assign snow removal to their tenants. And, if you want to do the same, it’s imperative to include clear language in your lease that outlines your tenant’s responsibilities related to that duty. Another best practice is to incorporate any related information from local ordinances if your tenant needs to follow specific rules. Not only can clear lease documents help your tenant understand their responsibilities regarding snow removal, but they can also be an invaluable resource should a dispute arise.

As an alternative, if you want to provide snow removal, you need to outline that in the lease as well. You should also put expectations related to that service, such as moving vehicles or not parking on the street during snow removal service times.


One of the excellent features of getting a property management company like Real Property Management Steel City is that we can help you determine how best to handle snow removal at your rental property. Contact us online today to know more about our full range of Pueblo property management services.

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