Snow Clearing – Contract vs. Hourly Rates
Snow clearing can be a big expense for condo boards, and is one of the reasons they often turn to Schinkel Properties to advise them on the best path to take.
There are essentially two ways to deal with snow clearing; Seasonal contracts, or on-demand/by the hour.
Contracted Snow Clearing
When negotiating a contract, Schinkel Properties will determine the scope, and develop a plan for regular snow clearing during the window months of November through March. Having a set contract in place is often more cost-effective and will guarantee access to snow clearing services in a timely manner. However, a contract also means that you will likely pay a set price for this service, even in months when there is little snowfall.
Benefits to a snow clearing contact can include easier budgeting, ensuring that your snow will be cleared quickly, and cost savings if there are lots of heavy snowfall events, since the contact rate negotiated is often much lower than on-demand hourly rates.
Paying for snow clearing as you need it means you are not on a contract for guaranteed service, and rather pay hourly rates. These hourly rates are often charged at a premium because when it snows, everyone wants their lots cleared quickly and there are limited plows available to do the work. While the higher hourly rates can add up, if you have a small lot that is easy to clean and can be done quickly, then it could be beneficial to go with the hourly rates since you only pay when you require the service. Additionally, in years of low snow fall, you may see savings since you did not need the lot to be cleared as often. The one drawback is that you have no guarantee of having your lot cleared in a timely manner, so you may be stuck waiting for a few days until a snow removal company is available to come and clear your lot.
In summary, depending on the size of your parking lot and requirements, our property managers will provide quotes for both options, and recommendations for the board to consider. Ultimately it’s up to the board to choose which option to approve.
by Sandra Herrera, Property Management Assistant