Obligation to Strew Sand

All house owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalk in front of their premises clean from snow and safe. Supposing you fail to do so and somebody passes your house, slips and injures himself, you will be liable for his damages. If you are the tenant, you are only then responsible for removing snow if your rental contract so says. The municipality is usually responsible for keeping the streets clean. The streets with most importance will be cleaned first while little streets only important for residents might not be cleaned at all. The OLG Thuringia defined the prerequisites on September 22, 2004 (re 4 U 793/04) more exactly for strewing sand on sidewalks inside of town.


Sidewalks inside of town must be kept clean and safe only if they are frequently used. In other words, the path to your back door is unimportant while the way to your front door must be kept clean and safe – not to mention the sidewalk all around your premises.

Considering the time cleaning has to be done, it usually suffices if the sidewalk is cleaned for the time of main (professional) traffic. This means a time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beyond that period, it is no harm to clean and strew sand on the sidewalk but it is no obligation. Especially on holidays or weekends, it is sufficient to keep the walkway next to the street clean and safe only for the time of normal traffic during the day. So, don’t worry about your night sleep, you may fully enjoy it unless you wake up way beyond daylight…

During extreme weather conditions, you will be obligated to clean the ways only when it would make sense. This means as soon as the weather calms down.

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Published on the old CMS: 2006/8/2
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