Utah is known for being home to the “greatest snow on earth.” In fact, Salt Lake City receives an average of 54 inches of snow each year, while the United States as a whole receives just 28. But at what point does abundant snowfall become a nuisance for property managers?
Utah snow removal laws stipulate that when a big snowstorm hits, property managers are responsible for removing snow on their properties. The Utah Department of Transportation takes care of snow removal in the main areas of the state, including highways, roads, and utility areas. But when snow falls on a property and prevents residents from being able to safely walk or drive — or even buries their car — property managers are required to act quickly.
For property managers who have one or two small properties, complying with Utah snow removal laws may be fairly simple. But for those who own multiple storefronts, office buildings, or housing complexes, quickly and efficiently removing snow poses a significant challenge.
When Are Property Managers Required to Remove Snow on Their Properties?
The Utah Department of Transportation does not provide snow removal services for sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, biking or walking trails, roads not included in the state system, overhead crosswalks, and walkways attached to buildings or structures.
Property managers are required to remove snow from any non-public properties. Utah rental snow removal laws also require property managers to facilitate snow removal from apartment or condominium complexes. In rental contracts for single-family homes, property owners may be able to stipulate that residents are required to remove the snow on their own, but apartment dwellers typically rely on landlords or property manager to remove the snow for them.
In Salt Lake City, a city snow removal ordinance requires business and residence owners or occupants to remove snow for the safety of pedestrians walking away from vehicular traffic. In this ordinance, property owners must remove snow and ice from the entire sidewalk adjacent to their property within 24 hours after a snowstorm. All snow must be removed to expose the bare sidewalk, and ice should be treated with ice melt, salt, or a similar product. Property managers must also ensure there is a minimum clearance of 42 inches in width on sidewalks, from corners to curb ramps.
Some Utah cities, including Lehi, Provo, and Orem, also require owners of business or residential properties to remove snow and ice around mailboxes, fire hydrants, and driveway openings. This keeps pedestrians safe and allows postal workers and firefighters to do their jobs without the burden of maneuvering snow and ice.
What Happens If Property Owners Fail to Remove Snow In a Timely Manner?
If property owners fail to comply with city ordinances, they could be issued fines for each day of violation. Property owners can also receive fines if snow is icy and compacted from previous storms and covered by fresh snowfall. Those removing snow are also prohibited from shoveling, plowing, or blowing snow into city streets. However, fines are usually issued only if the city receives complaints of unsafe sidewalk conditions from concerned citizens. Some cities may issue one warning per winter season, followed by fines for additional violations.
Aside from city compliance violations, property managers also risk potential slip and fall incidents by not removing snow in a timely manner. If residents or others who are on a property slip on ice or icy snow remaining on sidewalks, property managers could face lawsuits or other fines.
Snow Removal Solutions for Property Managers
When a snowstorm quickly moves in, it can be difficult for property managers to remove snow before residents, pedestrians, or shoppers get to the property first. Many property managers rely on professional snow removal services to take care of it for them, helping them avoid fines and potential injuries from slick sidewalks.
Professional snow removal solutions offer winter services that keep snow buildup to a minimum:
- Snow shoveling for sidewalks
- Snow plowing for parking lots
- Ice management for sidewalks and driveways
- Moving or hauling away snow piles
By using snow removal services such as these, property managers can wake up to a foot of snowfall without worrying about violating Utah snow removal laws or getting fined. Winter management and snow removal companies do all that hard work for them quickly and efficiently.
Are you looking for snow removal solutions for your property? Contact Lawn Butler to learn how professional snow removal services can keep your property safe and free from snow buildup.