The law requires that the adjoining owner keep the sidewalk in a clean and safe condition. That means that the owner must keep the sidewalk free and clear of debris, ice, snow, and other obstructions. The owner must fix a broken sidewalk.

Here are some typical sidewalk defects:

  • Debris, such as fallen leaves, trash, and garbage left for pick-up
  • A raised block of concrete
  • Holes and cracks in the sidewalk
  • Poorly patched and repaired defects
  • Tree roots which uproot the concrete (see case study on page 2)
  • A cracked sidewalk due to cars going on a driveway

The courts have stated that the owner’s obligation goes from the building line to the curb. The owner is not responsible for the curb and the tree pit. The City is obligated to maintain these.

We urge early investigation so that our engineer can photograph and measure the defect before it gets repaired.