Skip to Content

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

Key Largo Tenant Shoveling SnowIf you possess a rental property somewhere with snowy winters, you may be speculating how to manage the responsibility of snow removal. Regulations about snow removal for Key Largo rental property owners are surprisingly varied and sometimes complex. For that reason, it’s imperative to assign snow removal responsibilities accordingly before the first flakes fall. But who should be doing it – you or your tenant?  That depends on some factors, which we analyze in further detail below.

Local Ordinance

Initially, to thoroughly comprehend your snow removal responsibilities, look up your local ordinance. In numerous but not all locations, 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). However, in certain regions, 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 (throwing snow in the road is against the law in many towns) or how high you can pile snow up across a walkway. Others may even regulate what sorts of road salt or other deicing materials you may employ on your walkways and driveways.

Despite what the local ordinances specify, it is needed to take precautions to minimize getting hit with fines for improper snow removal.

Property Type

When separating snow removal responsibilities, who gets assigned the duty also relies on what type of rental property you own. In other words, multi-family property owners are almost always responsible for snow removal. However, for single-family rental homes, most owners and landlords may transfer the responsibility of snow removal to the tenant.

This setup may work in several cases, especially if your tenant already handles yard maintenance and other basic tasks. However, it’s necessary to bear in mind that the local ordinances still apply, so you must educate your tenant on proper snow removal practices to avoid running afoul of the law.

Tenant Ability

Another key element to remember is your tenant’s ability to perform snow removal tasks effectively and on schedule. Suppose 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. Therefore, you may need to compose other arrangements. Even though requiring a disabled tenant to do their snow removal is not technically illegal, a lack of consideration for your tenant could severely influence tenant relations. In such instances, you may find the more ethical and profitable option to be hiring a professional Key Largo property manager to do it for your tenant or simply doing it yourself if you want.

Lease Documents

Most single-family rental property owners demand their tenants to perform snow removal. Furthermore, if you wish to do the same, it is critical to include clear language in your lease that outlines your tenant’s responsibilities relating to that activity. Another best practice is to put any related information from local ordinances if your tenant needs to follow certain 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.

On the other hand, if you want to provide snow removal, remember to outline that in the lease as well. You should also state expectations related to that service, such as moving vehicles or not parking on the street during snow removal service times.


One of the major aspects of employing a property management company like Real Property Management Allegiance is that we will assist you in determining how best to handle snow removal at your rental property. Contact us online today to discover more about our full range of Key Largo property management services.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details