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Avoiding Liability Related to Removal of Snow and Ice in New York: An Introduction for Commercial Property Owners and Landlords

posted Mar 29, 2014, 5:33 PM by Bryan Berson   [ updated Sep 13, 2014, 4:36 PM ]

When New York winters are harsh, it can be difficult for property owners and landlords to clear snow and ice from their properties. This column discusses landlords’ common law duties to people invited to the property (“invitees”).

New York follows the “natural accumulation rule,” which assumes that invitees will recognize certain dangers and protect themselves. Under the rule, generally, landlords do not have to remove natural accumulations of snow and ice from portions of their property that are in common use by tenants. Generally, landlords must maintain property in reasonably safe condition, warn invitees of concealed dangers, and remove artificial hazards that they have created and natural conditions that they have aggravated.

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