I rent a commercial space with a shared building by one other business/tenant (who happens to be the landlord) and a shared parking lot/driveway by another tenant (but they are in a separate building).
The landlord had me sign a provision in my lease to agree to pay for 50% of the plowing. I fought her down to agree to 1/3, since there are THREE tenants using the plowable space. She had originally argued that the third tenant does not pay for plowing so it would have to be split with her (landlord) 50/50, but I argued that why should I pick up their slack? So I got my 1/3 - 2/3 split.
The plowing costs have been astronomical, $175/visit, and they come 2, 3, 4, times a storm! I just can't afford this, on top of my rent and other costs, so I looked into the law and while digging found this:
"It depends on your particular property. Landlords have the primary responsibility for snow removal at a rental property. Under the State Sanitary Code, property owners/landlords must keep all means of egress free from obstruction — that cannot be negotiated away. As for the removal of snow and ice, the Code provides that the landlord 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. Again, those obligations cannot be negotiated away.
A landlord may require the tenant be responsible for snow and ice remove in a lease provision only where a dwelling has an independent means of egress, not shared with other occupants, and a written lease provides for same. On its face, this exception only applies to entrance-ways and not driveways or parking areas. I am not aware of a court ruling on this particular Code provision, but if I were a landlord I would not risk being on the wrong side of a “test case” where someone is injured badly.
So, in the example above with an owner occupied two family with one common entrance and driveway, that lease provision would be illegal."
So is my lease provision illegal??