The time for winter storms has officially arrived, and snow can accumulate on driveways in just a matter of hours or minutes. Keeping your driveway cleared is important to your family's safety, but whose job is it? If you own your home, the answer is probably quite simple. It's yours. However, if you live in a rental property, the answer may not be as cut and dry. It may depend on several different factors.
Many landlords contract snow plowing services to remove snow from the driveways and parking lots of their rental property, especially if the location is a multi-family unit such as a row of town homes, a duplex, or a triplex. This reduces the tension between residents as to whose job or turn it is to shovel the walks and the driveway. This also makes the property more attractive to potential renters, especially if the unit has any vacancies. Plowing companies may contract their services by the job or by the season depending on the area and the needs of the property owner.
Even if your landlord has such an agreement established, you may be surprised to find that your driveway may not get plowed every time it snows. This is because snow plowing companies generally come out only after the snow has reached 1–3 inches in depth. For anything less than that, they may assume that the property owner or residents are capable of removing the snow with a shovel or blower.
If you find yourself in a situation where there is less than 2 inches of snow on the driveway, it may be necessary to shovel it yourself. However, please use caution in doing this. If you are over age 45 or have any kind of health problems, it may be advisable to hire someone younger (your child or a neighbor, perhaps) to shovel your driveway. This can be great physical exercise, and may even be enjoyable for them.
Also, if your landlord provides snow plowing services for your home, the cost may be figured into your rental agreement. When moving to a new location, it is certainly a worthwhile thing to ask about. However, even if your landlord does not provide this service, it may be a good idea to ask if you can pay a snow plowing service like Johnson's Carpet Cleaning to come. The service can cost as little as $30–45 per storm for a short driveway, and may save you a lot of time and hard work, as well as keep your family safe during the snowy winter months.