Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 11:30
My landlord never removes the snow from our walkways and the driveway. The tenants have to do it themselves. Is this legal? -- Heather, Winchendon
Massachusetts law only requires landlords to keep doorways clear of snow, so tenants can come and go safely. Landlords are not required to remove snow from driveways or walkways. While some landlords may simply wish to avoid the cost or labor involved, others fear that they may be sued for damages if they shovel a driveway or walkway and a tenant then slips and falls.
On the other hand, a landlord may be required to remove snow from walkways or driveways if she agreed to do so in the lease or tenancy agreement. Also, Massachusetts law allows cities and towns to adopt ordinances regarding the removal of snow from around apartment and other buildings. So you should check with your local town or city government. For more information or to post a question, visit our MA Landlord Law Discussion Forum.
UPDATE: Landlords should be aware of a recent case that may increase their potential liability for slip and fall snow and ice cases.