Tenant-Landlord Agreements for Shoveling Snow

Maintaining a property is a significant responsibility for a landlord — especially when renting the space to a tenant. The property owner must make himself available for fixing issues as requested by the tenant to keep the space up to par. Landlords deal quite often with the issue of snow removal. Some tenant-landlord agreements make special arrangements in this case.

Landlord Responsibilities

When entering into a standard rental agreement, whether for a home or apartment, the landlord is responsible for taking care of repair and maintenance duties at the property. That includes shoveling snow in front of the property. Towns and cities commonly have ordinances that require a property owner to shovel snow to make a path for delivery personnel to visit the home and to clear the sidewalk for pedestrians. If these requirements aren’t met the property owner could face fines. The landlord must either shovel the snow on his own or hire a service provider to remove the snow as needed.

Tenant Agreement

In areas where winter is long or it snows often during the season, some landlords make arrangements with their tenants to shovel the snow around the property. This is especially common if the landlord doesn’t live near the property. Contracting with the tenant for shoveling snow can be mutually beneficial for the landlord and tenant. The landlord can save money compared with hiring a service provider while the tenant saves on rental costs.


When creating a tenant-landlord agreement regarding snow removal the property owner must detail exactly when and how the tenant must shovel the snow. For instance, the landlord must give the tenant a deadline for shoveling after the snowfall. He must also explain any local laws regarding where to place the shoveled snow and how wide of a path is required. The landlord commonly compensates the tenant with a decrease in rent or a rent credit (cash back) each month as long as he honors his side of the shoveling agreement. In addition to snow shoveling, the landlord may also make an agreement for the tenant to cut the grass and perform other yard work.

Update the Lease

After coming to a verbal agreement with the tenant for shoveling the snow, the landlord must also put this information into the lease. The landlord can add a special clause detailing the arrangement or attach a rider (additional sheet) to accompany the lease describing the deal.