Top State Court Rules Homeowners’ Associations Can Be Held Responsible for Clearing Walkways

HOA_responsibility_Dollarphotoclub_75962578While State law may be clear in regards to who is responsible for maintaining commercial property to prevent pedestrians from suffering injuries in slip and fall accidents, responsibility for maintenance is a little gray when it comes to residential properties. But a recent State Supreme Court ruling sheds some light on this issue at least as it pertains to condominium developments.

Last month the Court reversed a lower court ruling by unanimously agreeing that a condominium’s homeowners’ association could be named in a lawsuit filed by a pedestrian who suffered injuries when she slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk in an adult residential community. Earlier a trial court had ruled that the homeowners’ association was immune from such a suit. Although an appellate court upheld that ruling, the Supreme Court disagreed, observing that the development’s own bylaws stated the association was responsible for seeing to the removal of snow and ice from the common walkways. For further details on this decision, see Samantha Marcus’ www.nj.com article, “You can sue condo association for slipping on its sidewalk, NJ Supreme Court rules.”