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Who’s responsible for sidewalks?

If you are a homeowner in New Jersey, one thing you may wonder about is the sidewalk in front of your home. What would happen if someone fell? Would you be liable? Are you required to shovel snow or keep that sidewalk maintained? These are common questions when it comes to who is responsible for sidewalks within the city limits in the various cities in the state.

While sidewalk laws are set at the city level and can differ for each location, in Somerville, Clerkbase explains there are some specific requirements laid out in the city code. While the code doesn’t address all the issues, it does give you a general idea of how the city looks at sidewalk responsibility.

First, when it comes to keeping the sidewalks safe in the winter, the main responsibility lies with you. You have to take care of removing snow and ice to ensure the sidewalk in front of your home is clean and dry to the best of your ability. You have the responsibility of ensuring they are safe for people to walk on.

You may also be responsible for laying sidewalks if you have property that is on a public street and there is no existing sidewalk or you have removed the sidewalk for building purposes. You will have to lay the sidewalk at your own expense.

Finally, you are also responsible for keeping the sidewalk area and the areas between the sidewalk and street in good repair and condition. This includes mowing grass or laying new grass if needed. This information is for education and is not legal advice.