In New York City, residential property owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalks adjoining their property clean from any sort of debris. This responsibility extends from the sidewalk to the curb, and 18 inches into the street. From the standpoint of the New York City Department of Sanitation, this does not mean that you have to stand over your property 24-hours a day to ensure every scrap of paper is picked up. You do have time to clean off your property. When it comes to debris, Sanitation agents are only able to issue violation notices and summonses from 8 am to 9 am and from 6 pm to 7 pm, seven days a week. These times are meant to tell a homeowner that you have to start and end the day with a clean sidewalk. These times are meant to inform a homeowner that they have to be diligent throughout the day.
Homeowners are Responsible for Debris on the Sidewalks
When discussing debris, what are we talking about? We are talking about any sort of trash that is on the street or curb in front of your home. It is also the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that the sidewalks are free of leaves and other natural occurrences such as snow and ice.
You can check here to get information on how to legally dispose of leaves in New York City.
Getting A Summons Due for a Dirty or Unsafe Sidewalk
Even though the Sanitation Agents can only issue violations at specific times, keeping your property clean and safe is your responsibility around the clock. Sweeping and keeping the area clear of trash and leaves are one thing. It is also the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure that the sidewalk is safe for people who pass by. This means that if a sidewalk is broken or uneven, such as part of the sidewalk being pushed up by tree roots, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to fix the problem. In New York City, as well as in most jurisdictions in the area, if a person is injured due to a damaged sidewalk or other hazardous condition, the homeowner can and will be held legally responsible by the injured party.
Business Owners are Also Responsible for Their Sidewalks
This responsibility is not limited to residential property owners. Commercial property owners are also responsible for the sidewalks in front of their establishments. Marc Albert has represented many injured individuals holding property owners, residents, and property managers responsible. Marc Albert has both settled cases and been awarded by juries significant sums on behalf of his clients injured due to negligent property owners who did not maintain the safe passage required by law.
In New York City, trash is a problem that builds up over time and throughout the day. During the autumn months, leaves are going to fall and accumulate throughout the day. During these weeks, cleaning the sidewalk can be a daily task. Snow is a different sort of problem. Snowfall doesn’t stick to a schedule. When it comes to snow and ice, you have a specific amount of time to clear your sidewalks. This time depends on when the snowfall stops.
When to Clear Snow Depends on When the Snow Stops Falling
If the snow stops falling between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, you must have your property cleared within 4 hours. So if the snowfall stops at 10 am, you have until 2 pm to clear it. If the snow stops between 5 pm and 9 pm, you have 14 hours. Basically, you have until the following morning. If the snow stops between 9 pm and 7 am, you have until 11 am.
Here are a few basic rules for clearing snow. Do not push the snow into the street. This can cause a hazardous condition for vehicles. If you have a fire hydrant on your property, make sure it remains clear. Don’t push the snow into crosswalks. The path you make should be about four feet wide. If you have a corner property, you should also clear a path to the crosswalk. If there is ice that cannot be cleared, you should cover the ice with ice-melt or cat litter to create traction on the icy patches.
While it is not legally required, if you have a neighbor that cannot perform their legal requirements due to age, health, disability, do what you can to help clear off their sidewalks as well.
Call the Law Offices of Marc Albert for a Free Consultation
If you are injured due to a slip and fall or trip and fall in front of a residential or commercial property, call Marc Albert for a free consultation. We have offices in Astoria and Syosset and can be reached at 855-252-3788.