When winter comes in and dumps snow and ice all over New York, you need to make sure that you do your part to keep the city safe. This means understanding your responsibility for snow and ice removal from sidewalks. According to the Department of Sanitation, you are responsible for removal on the sidewalks around your building.
Of course, this does depend on your lease if you rent. The owner of the building may take responsibility for removal. If your lease does not specify, then you hold responsibility because the law says the responsibility falls on the owner, occupant, tenant and lessee of a building. So, if your landlord does not remove snow and ice, then you need to regardless of what your lease says because the city can and will hold you responsible. Not removing ice and snow according to the law can result in a fine from $100 to $350.
The city sets specific time limits for clearing the sidewalks as well. It depends on when the snow falls. If it is an overnight snow between 9:00 p.m. and 6:59 p.m., then you have until 11:00 a.m. the next day to clear. If it happens in the morning from 7:00 a.m. to the afternoon at 4:49 p.m., then you have fours hours to clear. Snowfall or icing between 5:00 p.m. and 8:59 a.m. requires you to clear the sidewalks within 14 hours.
Keep in mind when clearing the area of snow that you want to create a path for walkers. This includes clearing to the crosswalk if you are on a corner. You also must keep fire hydrants cleared of snow and ice.