In residential lease who is responsible for mowing lawn?


In a residential lease, is the landlord or the tenant responsible for mowing the lawn?


James: I've been renting now for almost three years and the landlord is always taking care of the property. He cut the grass, fence repairs, power wash the property. Well, now it's not happening. He says that I'm responsible now for taking care of the maintenance on the property since I'm renting it.

Attorney Tom Olsen: James, do you have a written lease?

James: Yes, and there's nothing in the lease that says I'm responsible.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay, so let's go to Rob Solomon about this. Rob, if you have a written lease that does not talk about who's responsible for mowing the yard, whose responsibility is it, landlord or tenant?

Attorney Rob Solomon: Well, in the absence of something written, we go to what seems reasonable. That's the best we can do, it's not the greatest way of solving these kind of problems. I would say what's mostly reasonable is, the landlord would do that but what's going to be determinative here is when your lease ends. Because if your lease is either a month-to-month lease or is coming to an end, the landlord can easily say these are going to be the new terms.

Where you didn't think you had this as a term, the landlord's in a position now to say, "If you want to keep living here, these are going to be the new terms of your lease. Do you still want to live here?" When does your lease end, is the relevant question here.

James: The lease ends January one.

Attorney Rob Solomon: I think come January one, he's going to have a lot more authority in terms of telling you what will be required if you want to continue to live there.