The issue of yard care responsibility is a highly contested one with landlords and tenants. If you ask a tenant about it they will most likely say it’s the landlord’s responsibility. If you ask a landlord, they will most likely say it’s the tenant’s responsibility. So who is correct?
When something falls into the grey area, consulting your residential lease agreement is the best place to start.
Written leases have a section pertaining to maintenance and repairs for the inside and outside of a rental unit. Most landlords use the non-standard rental provision to explain items not on a standard lease. This section explains items such as lawn care, parking, pets, smoking, and late fees. These items can be different for each building. The lease should clearly state if a tenant is responsible for lawn care or yard maintenance or if it’s included in the lease. Tenants must clean up after their pets even if they are not responsible for overall lawn care.
For example in one lease the reference to lawn care looks like this:
“Tenant(s) shall be responsible for shared lawn care and snow removal.
Because tenant(s) share lawn care/snow removal responsibilities, tenant(s) agree to take full responsibility for lawn care if other responsible party vacates property until such time that a new party moves into the property.
If tenant(s) fail to take care of these responsibilities a third party will take care of the lawn care/snow removal. The bill from the third party will be the tenant(s) responsibility in its entirety. Tenant(s) further agree(s) to be responsible for any and all municipality charges related to snow removal or lawn care/weed control that may be charged due to the tenant(s) neglect of responsibilities.
There shall be an additional charge of $25.00 for each five or fourteen-day notice (to pay municipal charges or vacate premises) issued to tenant(s). Failure to pay any and all of these charges is a breach of lease.
Tenant(s) agree(s) that owner/agent may deduct all charges listed in this paragraph from the security deposit.”
While the clause is a lot to take in, it does cover who is responsible and what happens if the responsibility Is not met. If your lease does not address lawn care, check with your landlord or management company. Make sure you know who will be taking care of mowing, weeding, watering, trimming and any other yard maintenance.
Each landlord is different, but often if they require tenants to maintain the lawn, they will provide a lawn mower. Again this should be clear, but if not be sure to ask your management company. You can expect rent to be higher on a monthly basis to cover the expense of bringing in someone to mow and maintain the yard. The landlord can choose at their discretion how to maintain the yard if they are claiming responsibility. However, if the rental amount covers lawn maintenance, the tenant should be aware in advance.
If you have Day Property Management www.daypropertymanagement.com as your management company and have questions about lawn care, please call them at 920-968-0626 or send a question through the contact form here. www.daypropertymanagement.com/contact