Spring is among us!
Who’s responsible for rental home yard work? The tenant or the landlord?
There’s always a question when a new property owner works with us, just like when a new tenant applies that is answered the same based on the property. The answer is easy. The tenant, unless otherwise stated in your lease.
When you lease a home and gain access to a yard connected to the house, you are ultimately in charge of the rental home yard work. Tenants must mow the yard regularly. Lack of mowing is not only an issue with the landlord, your neighbors, and your property managers, but it’s a problem for the city/county you live in. There are fines and ‘tickets’ that you can be issued for not mowing your yard. Even a fenced-in backyard must be tended to.
As far as what you can do to your yard, well, that varies.
Generally, (but also dependant on your lease) tenants must ask permission to change or alter your rental property. That goes for the change of landscaping as well. Adding, extending, or removing flowerbeds, even planting a garden in your backyard, should be requested before any changes are done. Even if you are adding a tree for shade or if you feel like adding flower beds increases the curb appeal- it’s always safe to check your lease and reach out if possible to those that can give a clear answer. In most scenario’s landlords won’t disapprove of upkeep like this. Owners who are renting their home out as an investment property want tenants to take care of that home as if it’s theirs.
But they might say no.
Sometimes, that will happen. There are many times where before a tenant moves in, the landlord makes changes and increases the yard beautification. They might not want anymore altering being done. There might be a time that due to your yard’s size, a vegetable garden might not be an addition they wish to allow you to do. In this case, think of alternatives. Maybe a compromise can be made and discuss the suggestion of raised gardens. Or you can just add seasonal flowers to the existing beds in your yard if all you have is shrubbery.
Understanding what type of lawn service you are responsible for can quickly be confirmed by simply asking. Is the lease you’re signing a full-service lease or a self-service? Meaning is the yard the property owner’s job (full-service), OR will the tenant be fully responsible in all aspects (self-service). Know what you’re getting into before you sign anywhere. There’s a lot of expenses that incur with lawn care. Generally, in self-service, you are responsible for weeds, mulching, fertilizing, mowing, edging.
But wait, there’s more.
Do you live in an HOA (Home Owners Association)? Because if you do, there’s more as a renter you want to be aware of. HOA’s can be very specific in their guidelines. You should make sure if you reside in an HOA, you are given the Rules and Regulations for your community to make sure you stay in line with their requirements. Failing to follow the rules stated by the HOA can incur violations and sometimes fees and fines. Not to mention violations could cause an issue for your landlord or wrinkle your status with a property manager. Here are more tips for renting in an HOA.
If you are looking for homes to rent in the Treasure Valley area here in Idaho get our current list here. According to Consumer Affairs, if you need help with yard work, here’s a great list of 11 lawn care companies.