Skip to content

Home Boston Real Estate Insights Landlords

What Should a Landlord do After a Boston Snowstorm?

4 minute read
Boston apartments

If you are wondering how to properly handle snow at your property, check out this step-by-step guide to what a landlord should do after a Boston snowstorm.

Landlord Boston snowstorm

Safety First.

Because of a 2010 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling, it is the landlord’s responsibility to remove snow and ice from their property. Before the court passed this ruling, owners were not obligated to remove “natural accumulations” of wintry waste. While this seems unfair to landlords due to unnecessary inflation and high labor costs; the law is what it is as they say.

Your property owner obligations do not mean you must out there immediately and endanger yourself to clear the paths on your property. In Boston, residential landlords have six hours to clear away snow and ice. Other cities and towns in the area may have their own deadlines, but you generally get at least a few hours after the storm has passed to safely clean up your property. So, wait until the snow has stopped falling and the plows have cleared the main roads.

Boston apartments landlord texting tenants

Talk to Your Tenants.

Keep everyone informed of your snow-cleaning strategy and plans. That means keeping an eye on weather reports, knowing if a state of emergency has been declared and the roads are closed, and keeping in touch with your tenants. If you have a superintendent or manager on the property, call them to find out how your building is holding up. Otherwise, call or text your tenants. They will be relieved to know that you have their safety in mind.

Snow banks covering house

Watch for Drifting Snow Banks Covering Your Exterior Vents.

One issue that can often be overlooked by landlords is snow banks and drifts that cover exterior vents. Let’s face it, Boston is a very windy city and multifamily properties often create wind corridors that stack snow high in certain places. We know of multiple landlord that had to place venting higher on their buildings to avoid them getting covered with snow.

If you are landlord in Greater Boston with multiple apartments, it absolutely makes sense to go to your properties before it snows and make sure you have pictures of the locations of all your vents – because in the snow you may forget or second guess yourself. You don’t want to be fumbling around in a big snow drift. It never hurts to also ask your tenants to look out the window and give you an opinion of what is happening in real time. The last thing you want is to jeopardize the health and safety of your tenants.

Landlord calling for snow

Document, Document, Document.

In the rush to clear away snow and ice, you might forget to document any damage to your property caused by the storm. If a pipe has burst, a tree has fallen, or the wind has damaged your roof, fence, or porch, do not forget to take pictures and videos. You will need them later for insurance claims. With insurance providers rapidly increasing their premiums your going to want to document everything as clearly as possible.

Clean Up the Snow and Ice.

Once you have waited for the danger to pass, talked to your tenants, and documented any damage to your property, you of course need to clean up. But if you live at a distance from your property, or simply have other responsibilities, bring in the professionals of a reputable snow removal company.

Plow on truck

Get the Truck Ready.

It’s nearly always better to be prepared for a snow storm and not have it happen than have it hit and not be prepared. Go hook up your plow and make sure it is working correctly. Figure out where all your snow shovels are and if any need to be replaced. Go and buy salt well ahead of snow because you can often show up at Home Depot and they have run out or are charging a lot more for surge pricing. Top off your gas on all your snow blowers and check the oil. Run your snow blower now and make sure it works. Fill your trucks tank itself to full and have some extra gas in a fuel container for your snow blower. Don’t forget to fill your windshield wiper fluid so you don’t run out when you need it most. Put an extra set of gloves and hats in the truck and make sure you have a good quality window snow scraper ready to go inside your vehicle.

Conclusion.

It’s an interconvertible fact that you will have to face the challenges of snow in Boston. Being a landlord requires a lot of dedication and planning during the winter time in order to properly take care of your tenants and your Boston apartments. Keep the communication high on all fronts. make sure your supplies are in order, machinery is running, and equipment game time ready, if it isn't already.


Demetrios Salpoglou

Demetrios Salpoglou

Published February 13, 2024

Demetrios Salpoglou is the CEO of bostonpads.com which is an information and technology based services company that provides cutting edge resources to real estate companies. Demetrios has developed over 90 real estate related websites and owns hundreds of domain names. Demetrios also owns and operates six leading real estate offices with over 120 agents.

Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.

1 Comment

  1. verthilertva says:

    Perfectly written written content, Really enjoyed reading through.