This question came up in a column sent to Anne Peterson, a local Real Estate writer for the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. It seems appropriate to address this now that we have 15-20″ of snow here in Rochester and the temperature with wind chill is -25 degrees. The simple basic answer is ‘the landlord’. The question posed, and my insight, applies to small properties. Single family, 2-4 family etc. not large complexes where the landlord uses plows and staff to keep the sidewalks and parking lots clear. In all of our single family properties we require the tenant to treat the exterior maintenance as if they owned the property. That means not only snow removal but grass cutting and gardening is their responsibility and this written in their lease. For 2-4 family properties we also have this written in their lease(snow removal) but we do provide salt for the porch steps. But, if push comes to shove our local government states, requires, insists (whatever term you wish to use) that the landlord is ultimately responsible. Since the landlord owns the property he is the only one that the government can fine and try to force to comply.