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Old 07-17-2008, 05:22 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,483 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all,

I'm fairly new to being a landlord. One of my tenants keeps turning off the sprinkler, thus killing my grass. His explanation is that he doesn't want to pay for the water used by the sprinkler, as reflected in the utility bills. As far as lawn maintenance, I'm paying someone to mow the lawn, as a courtesy to my tenants. All that I ask is that the lawn get watered, which is not the case.

The lease agreement does not explicitly state who is in charge of lawn maintenance, however, it does say that water bills should be paid by the tenants. Is there something in a Colorado statute that implies that a house renter is responsible for lawn maintenance? Also, if HOA issues a fine, I'm assuming that I'm responsible for it?

Has anyone had a similar experience, or can offer some advice? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:38 PM
 
294 posts, read 569,893 times
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I would suggest that in the future, you pay the water bill and raise the rent to reflect the cost. Keep the sprinklers on a timer and tell the tenant not to mess with it.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:49 PM
 
Location: in a mystical land far away from you
226 posts, read 639,242 times
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If you didn't put in the lease that he is responsible for the grass watering, then he has every right not to pay to keep your grass watered since you did not require him to do so. Furthermore, he has business relationship with you, not the HOA. You are liable for the fine also. When the lease expires I recommend you re-write it to include lawn maintenance provisions, or better yet, have a lawyer re-write it so you know your butt is covered.

To be a successful landlord you will have to be a shark, thinking one step ahead of the tenants.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:45 PM
Status: "2B the trusted driving force in local real estate." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: South Metro Denver for 25 years
8,694 posts, read 19,386,658 times
Reputation: 4418
is normal maintenance a part of your lease - what about damage done to your property?

If you have to replace the sod, you can take it out of the damage deposit. Sod is cheap.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Burque!
3,693 posts, read 6,496,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullfish15 View Post
If you didn't put in the lease that he is responsible for the grass watering, then he has every right not to pay to keep your grass watered since you did not require him to do so. Furthermore, he has business relationship with you, not the HOA. You are liable for the fine also. When the lease expires I recommend you re-write it to include lawn maintenance provisions, or better yet, have a lawyer re-write it so you know your butt is covered.

To be a successful landlord you will have to be a shark, thinking one step ahead of the tenants.
x2
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:22 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,387 times
Reputation: 10
Coming from the other side...I live in half of a duplex, and our landlord is putting in a new clause in our renewed leases that tenants pay water. The lease also states we must maintain the property and, specifically, water the lawn, shrubs and trees.

The cost of water to keep the lawn from dying completely in this weather is at least $150 a month. It was pretty darn dead when we moved in and we have already made an enormous effort to revive it...evidently this showed up on the water bills that the landlord was paying, hence the move to shift the entire burden to tenants.

We already (out of the goodness of our little tenant hearts) pay a professional lawn service to mow. I personally paid to have it aerated, and I spend many hours keeping up the garden, watering, etc. I am the only one who does anything in the yard.

If we tenants now have to pay for *all* the water, that is a strong disincentive to continue our efforts to save what's left of the lawn. If we never water it again, it will merely go back to the state it was in when we moved in. Not to mention, none of us can really afford rent plus a huge water bill.

Honestly, this is the most difficult landlord I've ever had to deal with. She has tried to make me pay for repairs on pre-existing plumbing problems (I had to point out the clause in the lease that says she's responsible). She is 100% resistant to spending any money whatsoever on maintaining this 90 year old building.

I am a responsible adult, on disability, doing my very best to be an excellent tenant. I even paid for half of a new stove, just to be a nice guy, despite the old one being red-tagged by Xcel. She is quick to assume that whatever we say, we're lying. Maybe she's never had good tenants and doesn't differentiate between us and deadbeat scum--though her attitude explains why any decent people she does get, are unlikely to stay!

As I've discovered, CO tenants have no rights so I'm sure we're SOL, but I'm curious, what do you all think is the *ethical* solution?
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