Q: I own a rental property in Nassau County and have stated in the lease agreement that the tenant(s) is responsible for maintaining the grounds, including clearing their walkways and driveways in inclement weather. My question then is, do I carry more liability if I supply my tenant with a gas powered snow blower versus if they choose to purchase/use their own?
A: As long as you don’t live or work at the premises, you would probably be considered an “out-of-possession landlord.” An out-of-possession landlord relinquishes possession and control of the property to the tenant and is generally not responsible for clearing snow and ice as long as the lease provides that the tenant is wholly responsible. Whether you provide the “gas powered snow blower” would be irrelevant unless the snow blower was defective in some way. In such a case, if someone slipped and fell due to improper snow clearing because of the faulty snow blower, you could be held liable. If you have any additional questions or concerns about slip and fall matters, you should contact a personal injury attorney.
Michael A. Serpico is an Associate in the Personal Injury practice in the Garden City office of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. located in Long Island, NY. Mr. Serpico has significant experience in state and federal civil litigation from intake to appeal and has also secured numerous successful appellate decisions.
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