In winter, snow and ice are the cause of many accidents for pedestrians. To avoid falls and slips, it is necessary to remove snow from sidewalks or pedestrian shoulders. What is the legislation to be respected in terms of snow removal? Who is responsible for these obligations? 

In The Absence Of A Municipal Decree On Snow Removal

Regarding public traffic routes, it is in principle up to the municipality where the building is located to take care of the upkeep of the sidewalks. 

It is the responsibility of the municipal police to ensure the safety and convenience of passage through streets, quays, squares and public roads. It is, therefore, the municipal agents who must provide the snow and ice removal service.

In The Presence Of A Municipal By-Law On Snow Removal

That being said, the mayor can impose an order on residents to ensure snow removal from the sidewalk in front of their homes in the event of snowfall, as well as the removal of any patches of ice. If no sidewalk is present, this obligation also applies to the pedestrian shoulder of the road. 

The mayor assesses whether this measure is necessary according to the means available to the city. To know your obligations in terms of snow removal, it is therefore essential to check with the town hall of the municipality in which your activity is located.

What Does Snow Removal Consist Of?

Snow removal consists of clearing snow and spreading sand or road salt in the event of ice. Everything must be done up to the edge of the sidewalk and without obstructing the manholes so as not to prevent the flow of water.

If a municipal snow removal by-law is in force, the regulation may also provide a list of means to be implemented to ensure the obligation of earth development. In some municipalities very affected by snow, the mayor may require the installation of snowfall bars on the roofs of buildings or the removal of icicles at a height that could fall and cause accidents.

Who Clears Snow According To The Different Types Of Property?

If a municipal by-law is present, the responsibility for snow and ice removal falls on the residents. That is to say, on the people present in the building, whether they are owners or tenants. 

In the case of a so-called horizontal co-ownership, it is up to each co-owner to ensure the maintenance of the sidewalk in front of his building. For a vertical condominium, the obligation to clear snow and ice falls on the property manager.

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