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Maintaining Safety After Big Snowfall — The ISBA Confirms Homeowner Duties and Responsibilities

Question: As a homeowner, am I legally responsible for removing snow and ice on my sidewalk? Answer: Homeowners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. In general, a property owner is not obligated to remove a natural accumulation of snow and ice; voluntarily undertaking its removal can leave the owner subject to liability if the removal leads to a slip-and-fall accident. However, some towns do have an ordinance requiring landowners to remove ice and snow from public sidewalks in front of their property. Check with your local municipality about the laws in your area.       For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to   Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit