Tenants wonder why landlord not clearing walks

A Feb. 13, 2018 photo of a sidewalk in Kalamazoo, Mich.


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — With all the snow West Michigan received recently, some tensions are growing about who’s responsible for shoveling sidewalks.

For example, for those who rent a house, are the tenants or landlord responsible for shoveling the walkways?

It all started when a Kalamazoo viewer contacted 24 Hour News 8 asking for help. He said the landlord who lives across the street in the Vine Neighborhood doesn’t shovel the snow from the sidewalks, despite repeated requests to get him to do just that.

“As you can see, he doesn’t shovel his snow,” said Jefferson Kye, who has lived in the Vine Neighborhood for more than 20 years.

Kye has watched a lot of people come and go. But it’s the houses across the street that bother him the most. He says the same landlord owns them all, and the sidewalks are never cleared of snow.

We reached out to the landlord, who would only give us his first name as Peter.

Peter told 24 Hour News 8 his tenants are the ones responsible for shoveling the snow, under the terms of the lease. Peter says his tenants are aware of this policy.

So, 24 Hour News 8 asked the tenants if that was their understanding.

One tenant said he just became aware of this policy, after Peter called him on Tuesday. Another tenant in a different house said he, too, just learned that he was supposed to shovel the snow on the sidewalks.

Is it the tenant or the property owner responsible for shoveling sidewalks? According to a Kalamazoo city official 24 Hour News 8 spoke with Tuesday afternoon, it’s ultimately the property owner, even if a lease says the tenant will take care of it.