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Property Owners Legally Required to Keep Sidewalks Safe

Under New York City law, property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe. This includes their sidewalks. As DOT states, property owners must “install, construct, reconstruct, repave and repair the sidewalk adjacent to their properties … and are also responsible for snow removal.”

Notice of Violations

The New York City Department of Transportation issues a Notice of Violation to anyone whose sidewalk does not pass inspection. If the property owner does not make the necessary repairs, DOT might line up a contractor to do the work and bill the property owner.

If someone is injured before repairs are made, the property owner can be held liable. As DOT notes, the law “makes property owners potentially liable for personal injuries caused by their failure to maintain reasonably safe sidewalks.”

Snow and Ice Removal

NYC.gov states that property owners must shovel a path in their sidewalks and remove any snow and ice from sidewalks next to fire hydrants and bus stops. Legally, this must be done within the following time frames:

  • If snowfall ends between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., snow must be cleared within four hours.
  • If snowfall ends between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m., snow must be cleared before 11 a.m.

When these rules are not followed, the city can issue a summons. The city’s website includes an online system for reporting property owners who have not removed snow or ice within the legal timeframe.

Determining Liability

In a premises liability case, the property owner is legally responsible for injuries incurred on the owner’s premises when the property owner (or employee):

  • Knew about the dangerous conditions but failed to correct it.
  • Caused the dangerous conditions, such as by leaving dangerous objects in the path.
  • Should have known about the dangerous conditions, as any reasonable person in charge of the property would have.

Slip-and-fall accidents can be serious, sometimes causing broken bones and head injuries. If you or a family member has been injured because of a property owner’s neglect, contact the New York premises liability lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C. Call us at 855-735-3702 or send us a quick message on our online form.


  • NY.gov: Snow or Ice on Sidewalks Report

David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care. He wanted to help everyday folks who have had the misfortune to be injured in an accident.

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