Slips and falls happen every day on New York properties and many incidents result in debilitating injuries. The winter season increases the hazards, especially when property owners do not clean off sidewalks and parking lots in a timely manner.
New York state does not have one statewide law for snow removal standards but instead empowers local governments to set requirements.
City of New York codes for snow removal
Information from iPropertyManagement indicates that New York’s laws on snow removal for residential properties require property owners to maintain sidewalks after a snowfall. The city can fine property owners who do not clear their snow up to $350 per incident.
Residents must also clear snow rather quickly. During the daytime, residents have four hours after a snowfall to clear sidewalks of slush, snow and ice. If the snow falls in the evening, residents then have 14 hours to remove the accumulation, or essentially fairly early the next morning. Snow that falls at night requires clearing by 11 am.
The city codes do not allow residents to push snow into the streets or onto crosswalks. Local laws also require property owners near fire hydrants to keep the hydrant free of snow.
Other states’ snow removal laws
Proper snow removal keeps pathways safe for pedestrians and reduces trips and falls. Other states handle snow removal in different ways. In New Jersey, commercial property owners must maintain adjacent public sidewalks. Connecticut allows municipalities to enact snow removal laws and allows them to transfer liability to adjacent property owners. States such as Hawaii, Florida and Louisiana have no statewide ordinances that cover snow removal.