When determining, “Is tenant responsible for lawn care?” be sure to check the provisions of the lease. A well maintained landscape adds value to a property and it is as important to maintain as the interior of the premises. A landlord is always interested in maintaining the property, but may neglect to specify your responsibilities in your lease agreement. For information on general yard maintenance for tenants, visit the tenant resource center at LandLordStation.com.
If you are required by the landlord to maintain the yard of your rental property, be sure to have your landlord specify your exact responsibilities. Are you required to mow and trim the lawn? How often does your landlord expect you to perform these tasks? Weekly, or can you do it every other week? Are you responsible for raking and disposing the leaves? Are you responsible for trimming the trees? Are you responsible for snow removal?
If your lease calls for tenant lawn care, maintain the lawn as if you own the property. Your landlord will appreciate it and you are more likely to enjoy the property. If you are required to maintain your lawn, there are often a set of standards which are governed by local or city law. You can call your local Municipal Hall to get information.
Tenant lawn care is an expense that you should factor into the rent you pay for the property. In some climates, the growing season can be very long. You will need the proper equipment which usually includes a mower, weed eater, and clippers. For winter, you may need a shovel if you are responsible for snow removal. Your landlord should provide you with a place to store your lawn maintenance equipment. You may also be required to water the lawn on a regular basis.
If you maintain the lawn, you may decide to plant trees, flowers or a garden. However, be sure to get permission from your landlord in writing before you make any alterations to the landscape. Lawn damage can be responsibility of the tenant, and any changes you make without the landlord’s permission could be considered damages. If you dig up grass to plant a garden and then move, your landlord will have to replace the grass with sod or by re-seeding. Grass replacement is an expensive project and you will be responsible for the cost. If you decide to spray the lawn and other plantings for bugs, be sure to also get the landlord’s permission for this as well. If you are not sure how to properly apply chemicals to the lawn, you could cause damage to plants, trees and the grass. You might want to consider hiring a professional service for spraying. Your landlord may be willing to pay for that service.
Any improvements you make to the landscape become the property of the landlord unless the landlord has agreed otherwise. Any trees or bushes you plant, installation of an arbor, deck or patio or any addition that is attached to the yard or dwelling is considered an improvement and must stay. Of course, unattached lawn ornaments, including birdbaths or lawn furniture, remain your property and you can take it with you when you move.
If you have pets, it is a good idea to specify in the lease or in a separate lease addendum, the value of the grass, the plants and the fence in the event that your pet causes damage to the yard. Pets have been known to tear down fences, dig holes in the yard and damage trees. See the LandLordStation.com articles about pet deposits and fees for more information.
Before you sign a lease agreement, check to see is tenant responsible for lawn care. If so, ask your prospective landlord to specify your responsibilities in detail. Find a variety of information with the tenant resource center at LandLordStation.com. We strive to be the source for all of your tenant related questions. We offer a free community of real estate experts where you can ask questions about any rental situation.
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