Winter Tips for Student Tenants

Winter has arrived and as a student tenant, there are a couple of responsibilities you should keep in mind. The Neighborhood Housing Office is here to help you make an action plan for managing your off-campus living experience during these chilly months!

Turn on Your Heat

Turn on your heat to avoid inhabitable conditions and to prevent your pipes from freezing. According to the City of Milwaukee guide for landlords and property managers, there must be a heating system in the unit that is in safe operating condition and capable of keeping the unit sufficiently warm throughout the year-at least 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If your unit does not have heat, contact your landlord immediately. If your landlord does not take the proper steps to fix the issue, contact the Department of Neighborhood Services.

Know Who is Responsible for Shoveling

Read through your lease to see if you are responsible for shoveling snow at your unit. Snow must be shoveled from sidewalks within 24 hours of snowfall. Fines will be given to properties that do not follow this rule, and additional charges are applied when it continues to be a problem. A snow hardship program is available for tenants who are unable to shovel themselves. You can also pick up a FREE shovel from the Neighborhood Housing Office!

Monitor Winter Parking Restrictions

Pay attention to winter parking restrictions as these are different from other times of the year, especially during heavy snowfall. A Snow Emergency is declared by the Commissioner of Public Works and the Mayor when severe weather requires major plowing efforts to keep main streets open for emergency vehicles, bus lines, and major traffic routes. During a Snow Emergency, these parking restrictions are in effect:

  • Vehicles parked on streets designated as “Snow Route Tow Away Zones” will be ticketed and towed
  • No parking is allowed on through streets, bus lines, or through highways from 11pm-6am
  • No parking on the side of residential streets signed “No Parking During Snow Emergency” & “No Parking from Dec 1st to Mar 1st”
  • On other residential streets, alternate side parking is required from 11pm-6am, unless otherwise posted

You can sign up for emergency weather alerts at

For more information and resources available for student tenants, stop by the Neighborhood Housing Office in Union WG85!

Article Written by Natalie Kugler