Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Icy parking lot-Snow Covered Walk

What is a tenant to do about the icy walkway, path, parking lot?  As the last week or so in Ottawa has shown, winter weather can wreak havoc with safe passage into, onto, and off of the residential rental complex.  Aside from getting out a shovel, ice melter, and doing it yourself, there is indeed another option.  At law a landlord is required to maintain the walkways, pathways, parking lots, in a way that provides for safe passage.   If there is undue snow and ice then of course a tenant is being deprived of their right to safe passage.

The City of Ottawa Property Standards By-law imposes an obligation on landlords to keep the walkways, paths, parking lots, ramps, steps, and entrances safe by removing any accumulation of ice or snow.  See section 9 of the Property Standards By-law.  Of interest is to note that the obligation extends not only to the passage by pedestrians but also to vehicles.

If a landlord is failing to maintain the property in accordance with the burden imposed by the by-law then it is an option for a tenant to call property standards and ask them to attend the property, inspect, and order the landlord to do make the property safe.  The inspection and order will also be strong evidence of a violation that a tenant could use at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board if the tenant should chose to file a maintenance and tenant's rights application.

Michael K. E. Thiele
Ottawa, Ontario


  1. do you have a direct link that works to the by-law? the link in the article doesn't work but it does take you to the general website. Thank you :)

    1. Hi: Try the link now. I've updated it to the City of Ottawa by-law download page.

      Michael K. E. Thiele



Any answers provided are intended to reflect the Law of Ontario, Canada. The answers are not legal advice and no one should rely on the answers provided as legal advice. The answers are intended to be general information about Ontario Law and are the personal view of the author based on the limited facts provided to the author. The answers may not be legally accurate and may indeed be contrary to the law of Ontario. Answers and conclusions drawn may have been different if facts had been shared that have not been disclosed in the comment/question. This blog is intended to assist people in learning about Ontario Landlord and Tenant Law. However, if you have actual legal problems this blog should under no circumstances replace proper legal advice obtained by retaining a lawyer or licensed paralegal to advise you. Nothing in this blog, comments submitted or answers provided, gives rise to a solicitor and client relationship. Comments are published as submitted and commenters should be aware that if they identify themselves in a comment that their identity will become public upon the comment being published. Comments that have been published may be deleted upon request to the author.

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About Michael Thiele

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Ottawa lawyer and partner at Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP.  Graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.  Called to the bar in Ontario in 1997.  Undergraduate degree at Colby College, Waterville Maine, U.S.A.