The winter months bring more than simply frigid temperatures and shorter days. Snow and ice can pose a concern to property managers and landlords, with the possibility of financial liability.
A property manager or landlord may be held liable for the impact of winter, depending on the circumstances of the lease/tenancy agreement. It is critical to understand the conditions of any lease/tenancy agreement and ensure that both the property manager/landlord and tenants are careful in their snow and ice clearance efforts to avoid winter injuries.
Recognising and Preventing Hazards
Winter weather brings a multitude of hazards for which you should be prepared; nonetheless, slips and falls are by far the most prevalent injury linked with it. Snow and ice removal can go a long way toward keeping pathways and parking spaces safe. Snow should be removed as soon as possible after a snowstorm, and gritting should be done on a regular basis to prevent ice from forming.
Hazards from above might also be a problem throughout the winter. If icicles, as well as other accumulations of frozen or heavy snow over passageways and building entrances, fall on individuals below, they can inflict catastrophic injury. Icicles and other build-up should be removed as soon as feasible. Consider rerouting foot traffic around the area if it still looks to be a hazard.
Winter storm disasters can be avoided by performing preventative maintenance throughout the summer and autumn. Check that the eaves are properly erected and that the downpipes are angled away from the passageways. Snow that melts in the heat of the day has the potential to freeze and present a hazard with cooler night-time temperatures if eaves leak or downpipes divert water into passages.
Related article: Plan’s Property Risk Insights… Maintaining And Using Chimneys Safely
When autumn arrives and the temperatures start to dip, many people turn to their fireplaces to help stay warm. However, after months of inactivity, using fireplaces and chimneys for heat without first maintaining and inspecting it can be dangerous – even deadly.
Transferring Responsibilities to Tenants
The lease/tenancy agreement should include a section naming the tenants as liable for any snow and/or ice removal to ensure that liability is clearly established in this case. To avoid any undue liability, it is critical to be as clear as possible.
Make sure you understand the tenancy agreement’s provisions, as well as who is responsible for snow/ice removal.
Snow Clearing Services
You may choose to contract out a snow clearing service to an independent company based on the number of properties you manage or own and the average snowfall. While this can save you time and money by eliminating the need to manage snow removal yourself, you should choose cautiously to avoid more complications. Check to see if the service has enough resources to suit your needs. It’s critical that they arrive immediately following a snowfall to ensure that corridors and parking spaces are clear. They should have the necessary equipment and staff to do the job swiftly so that tenants’ lives and businesses are not disrupted.
Make sure to write down the circumstances and time limits for removal. When hiring a service, make sure you get a documented contract that guarantees you’ll get the services you paid for. Choose a trustworthy business that you can trust to perform a good job, and have a plan in place for removal if they can’t finish the job as quickly or successfully as you require.