Is Landlord Also Liable When HOA Is Responsible for Snow and Ice Removal

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Depending on the lease or rental agreement in a real estate deal, the landlord could also be responsible for removing ice and snow from the property. There are often certain conditions that affect these situations that could lead to additional problems when not considered carefully by all parties involved.

A person that owns a property could remain responsible for certain aspects based on the specifics in the lease conditions. If there are details that explain which party is responsible for ice and snow removal, this is what affects the situation. If these stipulations do not exist, then the state or local city laws may apply. However, any explicit rules of a homeowners’ association could replace these circumstances. Any harm caused for these incidents may be directed at the HOA instead of the owner of the property. There are numerous factors considered in these cases.

Dependent Factors for Ice and Snow Removal

The factors surrounding ice and snow removal heavily depend on local, city and state laws. The lease, landlord and HOA may all also play a role in these situations. If the landlord has attempted to remove snow or ice, he or she immediately becomes liable for any injury in some settings. Other elements considered in these cases deal with public walkways, the time between the ice or snow accrual and removal. If the snow or ice accumulated within 24 to 48 hours before removal, they may both be exempt from liability. However, if this time exceeded, these parties could still retain responsibility.

Other factors that may exist in these situations could include lease or rental agreement stipulations and other rules. The city or state often has local guidelines that apply to how much time is permitted to remove ice and snow. If the tenant attempt to sue for instances where the injury occurred before this time limit, he or she may have no case. It is only after this restriction is lifted that the injured has a possible claim. These two days are provided to the HOA as well. Sometimes, this is extended based on location, climate and weather patterns.

Confusing Laws

There are numerous snow and ice removal laws that are confusing to the owner of property and affected tenants. Sometimes, the owner has no liability in these situations at all. Other states may hold him or her responsible unless the ownership of the property has exchanged hands. Parking and similar circumstances could also affect these incidents. Other events that affect the landlord or owner involve walkways and similar areas. Most states hold the landlord accountable for these locations of the property no matter if the lease stipulates the tenant or HOA is responsible for removal.

Before the landlord, HOA or other parties are able to engage in the legal battle, it is critical to understand what laws apply. These confusing regulations require clarification. This could lead to a lawyer and an expert unraveling the confusing wording and conditions in these matters. The plaintiff may have no case or a stronger claim based on what determined details he or she discovers. The more information available, the better each party is able to progress through these situations.

Public Access and Sidewalks

If a tenant is on the property but does not sustain injury on the land or in the building, he or she may have no case against the landlord. Public access areas and sidewalks are considered public property. The city and state usually own these locations. This would exempt the landlord or owner of the house and land from any responsibility based on state and local laws. However, if the HOA or landlord shovels ice or snow into these locations, he or she could be liable for damages. If no action occurred to remove ice or snow on a sidewalk, the plaintiff usually has not claim against the landlord or involved HOA unless a lease or homeowners’ rules stipulate this.

Premises Liability and Legal Support

For the landlord or HOA, it is crucial to hire a lawyer immediately if any claims arise about injury with snow or ice removal rules. The location of the injury requires establishment. This could lead to a case dismissed on grounds that exempt the HOA or landlord. However, if responsibility exists for the owner of the home or the homeowners’ association, then the lawyer may explain how to defend against these claims. It is important to divulge all information early on and build a case against the injured.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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