If you are the landlord who resides in the same complex with your tenant (even not sharing the same unit), the duty of snow shovelling should obviously belong to the landlord.
Reference can be made to S. 20 (1) of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 with respect to the responsibilities of landlords as follows:
S. 20 (1) A landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining a residential complex, including the rental units in it, in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and for complying with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards.
But what if the landlord doesn't reside in the same residential complex with the tenant, who is responsible for snow shovelling on the sidewalk? Can this responsibility be transferred to the tenant, when it is stated in the lease and agreed by both parties?
At the first glimpse, many people may think that the occupancy now shifts to the tenant, which may also lead to the transfer of snow shovelling obligation to the tenant in the complex. The underlying issue here is that who is responsible for fall and slip on the sidewalk with snow adjacent to the residential complex. It is very important to determine the right party/ parties liable in the possible personal injury allegation.
Let's take a look at the Occupier's Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990 on how to define the occupier as well as the occupier's duty in the following:
S. 1 (a) A person who is in physical possession of premises, OR
1 (b) A person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of
premises or the activities there carried on, or control over persons allowed
to enter the premises, despite the fact that there is more than one occupier
of the same premises; ("occupant")
S. 3 (1) An occupier of premises owes a duty to take such care as in all the
circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that persons entering on the premises, and the property brought on the premises by those persons are
reasonably safe while on the premises.
Even though the tenant seems to be the occupier because of the physical possession, the landlord should be the "occupier" in this case, who has control over the condition and activities of premises. Besides, the recent case of Lindsay Montgomery suggested that the responsibility of snow shovelling cannot be transferred to the tenant under the landlord and tenant's Act, despite that it is agreed and signed by both parties in the lease, unless there is a separate consideration. A separate agreement should be signed by both parties that also pays the tenant for snow removing, which is similar to the landlord's contracting out this obligation to hire the third party/ parties that is allowed in the Act.
Recent case of Lindsay Montgomery can be referred to the following link:
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be construed as a legal advice, but strictly for information only in this entire website. Please contact Trustworthy Legal Service for your independent legal advice in your particular situation. The first consultation is also required prior to my retainer of your case.
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