I don't want to say it, but I need to.... Snow Removal

9 Replies

I need a snow removal recommendation for Chicago.  We just found out our servicer might not be able to work with us this year unless her big commercial client renews.  Otherwise the travel costs to our houses are too high.   Any recommendations would be great

@Brie Schmidt   I don't have any recommendations for the Chicago area, but I do have a question. Do you perform the snow removal for your smaller residential properties in addition to your commercial or larger residential properties?

In my area, the tenants in small residential properties are usually responsible for snow removal. I'm wondering about the pros/cons of this approach versus covering the cost ourselves.

@Ron Averill  All my properties are at least 2 units so we provide snow removal.  We do have a tenant in each building who would be willing to do it for a discount in rent but it is such a liability if someone falls I really prefer to have it professionally done by a licensed company.  

Hi Brie,

You might consider the contact below as he used to provide snow removal at our condo complex in Old Town when I was Board President. I don't know minimum number of units but it might be worth a try...good luck!

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I've heard a lot about the "if they slip they'll sue" and that the city affords them certain rights. What are the rules exactly? I heard it's better not to remove because if you remove it and they fall then it's your fault. And if you have a company do it can you then pass the buck to them since they removed it?

@Michael Garcia  I believe Chicago has a rule about landlords not getting sued if they make an attempt to clear the walkways.... @Mark Doyle  didn't you tell me that last year?

Regardless,  I pay $1100 a year for unlimited snow removal and salting, and they follow Chicago law which is that you must clear sidewalks within 2 hours of the snow stopping.  IMO it is well worth the cost for the safety of my tenants.  

@Brie Schmidt  @Michael Garcia  First, I always give this caveat - Anyone can sue you for anything or nothing at any time.  All they have to do is write up some kind of complaint and pay a filing fee.  That's why we have insurance!

Having said that, yes, Illinois has the Snow and Ice Removal Act.  I cut and pasted the text of the statute below.  Based on the Act, it is always better to make an attempt at removal.  Both you as landlord, and your snow removal contractor, are protected by the Act.

(745 ILCS 75/0.01) (from Ch. 70, par. 200)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Snow and Ice Removal Act.
(Source: P.A. 86-1324.)
(745 ILCS 75/1) (from Ch. 70, par. 201)
Sec. 1. It is declared to be the public policy of this State that owners and others residing in residential units be encouraged to clean the sidewalks abutting their residences of snow and ice. The General Assembly, therefore, determines that it is undesirable for any person to be found liable for damages due to his or her efforts in the removal of snow or ice from such sidewalks, except for acts which amount to clear wrongdoing, as described in Section 2 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 81-591.)
(745 ILCS 75/2) (from Ch. 70, par. 202)
Sec. 2. Any owner, lessor, occupant or other person in charge of any residential property, or any agent of or other person engaged by any such party, who removes or attempts to remove snow or ice from sidewalks abutting the property shall not be liable for any personal injuries allegedly caused by the snowy or icy condition of the sidewalk resulting from his or her acts or omissions unless the alleged misconduct was willful or wanton.
(Source: P.A. 81-591.)

Well, what do you know: a regulation that makes common sense!  Kudos, Chicago! 

@Mark Doyle that is great info. Plus, reassuring to know that as long as you're trying you are somewhat protected

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