Developing a Legal and Effective Snow Removal Plan for Your Michigan Rental Property

As winter sets in across Michigan, landlords face the perennial challenge of snow removal. Ensuring the safety of tenants and visitors, while complying with local ordinances, requires a strategic and legal approach to snow removal. Here’s a guide to developing a plan that keeps your rental property safe and legally compliant.

Understand Local Snow Removal Laws

Tractor cleans a street after heavy snow.

Firstly, familiarize yourself with local snow removal ordinances. In many Michigan cities, property owners are legally required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and common areas within a specific time frame after a snowfall.

  • Check Local Ordinances: Requirements can vary by city, so it’s important to know the rules in your area.
  • Liability Considerations: Failure to comply can result in fines and increase liability for slip-and-fall accidents.

Establish Clear Snow Removal Procedures

Develop a clear, written snow removal plan and include it as part of your lease agreement or property management policies.

  • Define Responsibilities: Clearly outline who is responsible for snow removal – the landlord, tenants, or a third-party service.
  • Set Expectations: Detail the expected timeframe for snow removal after a snowfall and specify the areas to be cleared.

Hiring a Professional Service

For many landlords, hiring a professional snow removal service is the most effective solution.

  • Choose Wisely: Look for reputable, insured services with experience in commercial properties.
  • Service Agreement: Ensure the service agreement covers all necessary areas and specifies how quickly they will respond after snowfall.

Communicate with Tenants

Effective communication with tenants is key, especially if they have responsibilities for snow removal.

  • Provide Clear Instructions: Share the snow removal plan with all tenants, including where to safely store shoveled snow.
  • Offer Resources: If tenants are responsible for their own areas, consider providing tools like shovels or salt.

If you need further legal advice on managing your rental property during winter, feel free to contact Aaron Cox Law for guidance and support.

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