A New Jersey homeowner’s duty to maintain the sidewalks adjacent to their property is largely dependent on the town where the property is located. The general rule is that if a homeowner does not bother touching or maintaining the town sidewalk, then that homeowner is not responsible for the condition of the walk.
However, once the homeowner cleans it or otherwise gets involved with the maintenance of the walkway, then the homeowner may be liable for the injuries sustained by someone on that walkway.
It is a broad generalization that if you do not touch it, you are not responsible and it is not always the case. There are towns in New Jersey that require you to maintain certain walks adjacent to your property. In sum, it depends on what the homeowner’s town requires, if anything, for walks that are technically public property but are adjacent to the homeowner’s property.
Homeowner liability for slip & falls on snow and ice
New Jersey towns generally have an ordinance that requires a homeowner to maintain sidewalks that are adjacent to their property, but again, it is a case by case analysis. For example, Newton, New Jersey may require something that a different part of New Jersey does not. An experienced New Jersey slip & fall and trip & fall attorney will know to research local ordinances regarding adjacent walks to residential property, whether the walks are affected by tree roots, snow and ice, and other conditions that may be hazardous to pedestrians.
In the context of commercial real estate, commercial owners must maintain public walks that are adjacent to their property. There are no exceptions to that rule