Who is responsible for clearing ice on rental properties?
It’s that time of the year when parking lots, driveways and sidewalks are extremely slippery.
Homeowners are required to clear ice for people who might walk onto their property, but what are the rules for renters and landlords? Freeze and thaw conditions at the tail end of winter can lead to a lot ice buildup.
At the thousands of rental properties in Sudbury, the city says the responsibility for safety is squarely on the landlord.
Brendan Adair is the Manager of Security, Bylaw and Court Services with the City of Greater Sudbury.
“It does put responsibility on them to make sure that walkways, parking lots and any entrance to a property is safe for any resident that lives there.” said Adair.
Some landlords say they can’t always stay on top of their properties, especially when they own several buildings or during rapidly changing weather conditions.
Ray Goulet is a property manager and part of the Greater Sudbury Landlord Association.
“One day it’s warm, the next day it’s just cold. So, we as landlords maintain the responsibility to try to stay on top of it as best we can.” said the property manager.
Goulet says good communication from tenants is important.
“Work on developing a relationship with your superintendent, with your landlord, to get them to come out, sand and salt, and clear that driveway. They’re obligated to do so. That’s part of the terms and conditions of leasing and that’s what the landlord should be doing.” said Goulet.
“In the event that they don’t see any action or there’s a complete disregard, we are a support to them and they can call 3-1-1 to put that case in.” said Adair.
He also says the goal of the bylaw is compliance, not penalizing, but says if the landlord refuses to act, the city can get the work done itself and pass the bill on to the building owner.