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Snow Removal Policy

By Qixi Huang
On December 5, 2011

Snow shoveling may be the trouble for most people in La Crosse. The city does not have a regulation, requiring landlords or tenants to remove snow. Before moving into a new place, tenants need to pay more attention to the snow removal and snow tickets payment responsibilities on their contracts.

            Situations are different for different landlords or rental companies. Scott James, a tenant of a private house near UW-L, says "In the contract, we have agreement that tenants are responsible for the snow shoveling with our landlord. We also need to pay for the ticket when we get one."

            Yuan Chao, a tenant of an apartment owned by Benson Management, Inc, says "I don't see any ordinance on our contract requires us to clear the snow. I have lived here over one year. Last winter, Benson Management took care of the snow."

            Annie Johnson, the staff of Benson Management, explains "In some apartments, our management takes care of most of the snow. We plow the center only of the parking lot. It is tenants' responsibility to remove snow and ice from around their cars and in front of their houses. In other apartments and houses without parking lot, tenants have full responsibility on snow removing."

            According to La Crosse ordinance private property owners, commercial property owners and property occupants are required to clear the sidewalks abutting their property. Snow or ice must be removed within 24 hours after the snow ice have stopped falling. This includes the corner crosswalk area for property owners with the corner lots or those whose property abuts a mid-block crosswalk. Violators of this ordinance reported to the Engineering Department are issued a notice to clear the walk. If still not clear within another 24 hours, a Street Department crew will clear a path on the walk, and the charge will appear on the property tax bill.

            However, the Wisconsin Rental Regulation does not address the issue of snow removal. Receiving a ticket, people do not know who should pay it. Nevertheless, the regulation gives landlords the right to determine who takes care of outdoor chores like shoveling and mowing the lawn. "Tenant Source Book," published by Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc, suggests tenants know what they are expected to do while they live there and what the landlord will take care of doing, especially the snow shoveling.

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