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East Midlands Chamber News

To grit, or not to grit - landlords could be on thin ice

As Britain prepares for winter, landlords have been warned to disregard ‘urban myths’ regarding responsibilities to clear ice and snow from business premises.

Geoff SolmanWith predictions of a particularly big freeze this year, Geoff Solman, senior surveyor at Bruton Knowles’ Nottingham office, is keen to ensure landowners and occupiers take the necessary steps to avoid a costly slip.

He said: “Commercial property landlords will be getting to grips with all manner of renovation and remedial works in order to prepare their premises for the winter – tackling items such as leaking roofs and gutters, flooded drains and burst pipes.

“But one issue which always divides business owners is the tricky question - whether to grit or not.

“The commonly held belief is that landlords who take any steps to clear or grit a pathway outside their business is automatically accepting the responsibility for any slips or trips which may occur. In actual fact, owners and occupiers should take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk of an accident – this will reduce the likelihood of an accident or any successful claim.

“If in doubt, businesses should obtain professional advice to negotiate the maze of legal considerations – which can and have resulted in compensation payments running in to thousands of pounds.

“The winter forecasts suggest colder, drier conditions across Northern Europe and therefore the importance of setting up the right gritting programme for commercial premises is very important.”