Author Topic: Do I Cut the Grass?  (Read 4689 times)

en58

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Do I Cut the Grass?
« on: May 23, 2017, 12:41:19 PM »
Hey Guys,

Need a little help. I rent a duplex. I asked my landlord to cut the grass in the back yard as it is getting long. The landlord stated that it is my responsibility to cut the grass. In the lease it says the tenant (me) is only responsible for snow removal and replacing the light bulbs. What should I do? Should I cut the grass, stick to the lease and have him do it, or request him to supply me a lawnmower?

caracarn

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 12:51:52 PM »
If you do not care what it looks like or trudging through foot high grass, I'd say leave it until the city threatens to fine him for it and drives him to do it.  If you are effectively paying for the service through your rent, then he should provide it.  If not, then he should lower your rent $40/month to pay you a minimum of $10/week to cut the grass and do his job for him.  If he disagrees, tell him to change the lease terms next time and you can decide if you are staying and cutting the grass or moving.

saijoe

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 12:55:43 PM »
The landlord probably felt that it was implied that the tenant cut the grass.  By all rights, you probably win the debate as it's not mentioned in the lease while similar things are.  Instead though, invite him over to discuss.  Both of you need to be reasonable and work it out.  Ask him to buy a cheap lawnmower and you'll mow.  Or offer to just handle it for $50 off per month.  If you treat people like you'd want to be treated most things can be worked out.  Then when it's time to renew, you can get it put into the lease.   

dragoncar

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 02:39:31 PM »
The landlord probably felt that it was implied that the tenant cut the grass.  By all rights, you probably win the debate as it's not mentioned in the lease while similar things are.  Instead though, invite him over to discuss.  Both of you need to be reasonable and work it out.  Ask him to buy a cheap lawnmower and you'll mow.  Or offer to just handle it for $50 off per month.  If you treat people like you'd want to be treated most things can be worked out.  Then when it's time to renew, you can get it put into the lease.

Right.  I've always wondered how landlords typically handle these responsibilities.  Who pays to water the lawn?  Does the tenant have a responsibility to water the lawn?  It's best if it's in the lease, but in terms of what's fair, I'd default to what is typical.

OP, are you in an area that requires irrigation?  If so, maybe just let the lawn die.

en58

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 03:10:34 PM »
Well he has not supplied a lawn mower or any type of equipment. I just dont want to spend money on a lawnmower that i have no need for when i move out.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 03:27:16 PM »
As a landlord of a duplex, I have given my tenants the option to do the mowing for $15/mow... I provide the equipment, and I re-imburse all receipts for gas and disposal.  For the 1st 8 years of renting, I had one or the other tennant happily do it.  For the last 6 months, neither has wanted to so I have taken over... I actually have been kind of enjoying it and I get to see the property "up close" more frequently.

I think your landlord is out of line unless it's in the lease or he verbally communicated that to you.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 04:31:08 PM »
I would mow it to keep the peace. But he has to provide the equipment. He can't require you to buy a lawnmower.

Neo

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 08:33:47 PM »
If its not agreed to in the lease that you have to cut it then its not your responsibility period. If you want to you could offer to do it for reduced rent but I would absolutely not do it for free. And this is coming from someone who owns three quads. I would explain it to your landlord nicely to keep a good relationship but he doesnt have a leg to stand on if he tries to force you to do it.

dragoncar

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2017, 09:23:28 PM »
If its not agreed to in the lease that you have to cut it then its not your responsibility period. If you want to you could offer to do it for reduced rent but I would absolutely not do it for free. And this is coming from someone who owns three quads. I would explain it to your landlord nicely to keep a good relationship but he doesnt have a leg to stand on if he tries to force you to do it.

Sure, but the OP wants the grass cut.  OP may not be responsible for mowing, but the landlord may not either.  For example, the lease doesn't say OP has to clean the toilets, but if he wants them cleaned he obviously has to do it himself. 

waltworks

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2017, 10:49:18 PM »
What on earth kind of crap lease did the LL use? You can get boilerplate leases online all over and they pretty much always have a whole section for who will maintain what part of the grounds/landscaping.

You aren't responsible for it if it's not in the lease, unless there's a "maintain property in attractive/decent condition" clause somewhere.

Tell him/her to buy you a mower and then do it occasionally?

-W

clarkfan1979

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 11:08:09 PM »
The landlord made a mistake by not including any language regarding mowing the lawn. As you stated, I would tell him that you don't mind mowing the lawn, but don't want to have to buy a new $300 mower. Then see what he says. You will win and he will lose, but try to be nice if you live next to one another.

en58

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 06:36:13 AM »
Update: Thanks Guys, I just don't understand why he would put snow and light bulbs in the lease but not the lawn. I'm not a person to take advantage of some ones mistake, but I sure as heck don't want or need a lawnmower. I have a good relationship with the landlord, I want to keep it that way. I offered to do it as long as he provides something to cut the lawn with.

Neo

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 07:31:04 AM »
If its not agreed to in the lease that you have to cut it then its not your responsibility period. If you want to you could offer to do it for reduced rent but I would absolutely not do it for free. And this is coming from someone who owns three quads. I would explain it to your landlord nicely to keep a good relationship but he doesnt have a leg to stand on if he tries to force you to do it.

Sure, but the OP wants the grass cut.  OP may not be responsible for mowing, but the landlord may not either.  For example, the lease doesn't say OP has to clean the toilets, but if he wants them cleaned he obviously has to do it himself.

How is the landlord not responsible for mowing? If he doesnt keep the property mowed he will almost certainly get fined by the local governing entity.

dragoncar

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 02:17:28 PM »
If its not agreed to in the lease that you have to cut it then its not your responsibility period. If you want to you could offer to do it for reduced rent but I would absolutely not do it for free. And this is coming from someone who owns three quads. I would explain it to your landlord nicely to keep a good relationship but he doesnt have a leg to stand on if he tries to force you to do it.

Sure, but the OP wants the grass cut.  OP may not be responsible for mowing, but the landlord may not either.  For example, the lease doesn't say OP has to clean the toilets, but if he wants them cleaned he obviously has to do it himself.

How is the landlord not responsible for mowing? If he doesnt keep the property mowed he will almost certainly get fined by the local governing entity.

I've never seen anyone fined for not mowing the lawn.  This is highly dependent on your specific municipality.

Vindicated

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2017, 02:35:03 PM »
I've rented in many different places, and always mowed the lawn as a default without even considering that it might not be our responsibility.  I view it as typical upkeep, like vacuuming.  I had one rental where the LL showed up a week after we moved in and mowed, and I was stunned.  I assumed it would be our responsibility.  So, I guess it depends on the LL.

Since you don't have a mower, and it's not in the lease, it seems reasonable that he at least provide the mower.

texastumbleweed

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2017, 06:49:59 PM »
All of my neighbors landlord's pay to have the grass mowed....

monarda

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2017, 09:12:37 PM »
We own a duplex and require the tenants to mow the lawn. We supply a lawnmower and have it spelled out in the lease. The tenants on each side take turns mowing. A funny thing happened this week.

Tenant in the left unit is a property manager in a large apartment complex (we're lucky to have her live at our place!). She and her husband decided they were too busy to mow this summer, so for her side's turn every other week, she decided to hire the lawn service she uses at her complex. The lawn guy gave her a deal since he has the bigger contract. Tenant sent us a FYI email saying she was doing this. We have no problem when our tenants hire a neighborhood kid to take care of their mowing. But this was a first use of a lawn service.

Then, tenant in the right unit was surprised and emailed us,  wondering what the lawn service was doing there! I explained what the left unit tenant had chosen to do. I guess the units don't talk to each other!

en58, who lives in the other side of the duplex?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 08:44:38 AM by monarda »

dragoncar

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2017, 06:37:58 PM »
Can't y'all just get some goats?

en58

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2017, 07:31:43 AM »
en58, who lives in the other side of the duplex?


The other tenant actually lives on top. It was an old house that was tuned into a duplex. I spoke with the other tenant, and he stated that the landlord cut the grass last year. And the city is starting to poke around, and the grass is getting knee high. The other tenant does not seem to care at all. I feel bad bud I also don't want to buy a mower, I have no need for at all.

Aggie1999

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2017, 11:14:59 AM »
Sounds like there is not lawn/property separate for each of the two tenants. In this case I would think it's the landlord's responsibility to mow the lawn. No different than an apartment building.

Timmm

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Re: Do I Cut the Grass?
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2017, 06:31:58 PM »
Sounds like there is not lawn/property separate for each of the two tenants. In this case I would think it's the landlord's responsibility to mow the lawn. No different than an apartment building.

Agreed. We are landlords and call this out very clearly in our leases (tenants have taken the option to pay extra to let us deal with it). Your landlord definitely made a mistake in not doing this, and the fact that the lawn is shared by separate tenants seals the deal. If you were renting a SFH, the implication goes a bit the other way - you get the lawn to yourself and so also maintain it.

That said, some accommodation might be worth your while. Maybe offer to manage the performance of a lawn crew he hires if he pays for them? Really wouldn't be much work on your part, but following up with them to set & keep a schedule, making sure they have access.