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Old 11-23-2018, 08:36 AM
5,677 posts, read 6,538,373 times
Reputation: 3276


Is the yard purely for looks, or is there a usable portion, even a patio or deck or something? If there's a usable portion, and it's exclusively for your use and not the upstairs tenant, then I think there's an argument for your unit being the one responsible for yard care.

That said, this yard is never going to look good unless it's scaled way back. That's an ambitious garden that requires professional maintenance or an avid hobbyist gardener.

You're fortunate to be in a month to month lease; you need to have a frank discussion with your landlord and come to a more detailed agreement in writing. If everything else is peachy between you guys except for this, then I'm sure he doesn't want to lose you as a tenant any more than you want to be bothered with moving.
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:04 PM
2,201 posts, read 835,957 times
Reputation: 4265
You signed the lease regardless and now you can't get out of it whether it is unfair or not.
Yes that lovely landscaping is very complex and should have qualified landscapers taking care of it. How many times of the year does this job have to be done to keep it trimmed to LL's satisfaction? Is your rent unusually low for what you got? Is it possible that adjustments to the rent were made so that you will afford hiring a caretaker?
Get some landscaping quotes and have them take care of it for the entire year.
Meet with the tenants below you and find out if they were asked to do yard-work too.
Make a date for them to join you on the project. Otherwise see if you can get them to chip in for a professional.
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:11 PM
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,391 posts, read 25,758,155 times
Reputation: 19702
I would go in with the other tennents and agree to have someone else take care of the landscaping. Not worth my time to do that kind of stuff and I bet it isn't worth your time either. If the others are not willing then go to the LL and offer to pay your portion of the landscaping.
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:17 PM
Location: North Idaho
21,187 posts, read 26,169,424 times
Reputation: 39892
Insist that the landlord divide the duties and put it in writing. If the other apartment is expected to weed the sides, then you let the sides go and point to the other apartment when the landlord complains.

That wouldn't be too difficult to maintain with an electric hedge trimmer, but that is way beyond what I would expect a tenant to take care of.

I suspect that it is time for you to move to a place that is easier to care for and that has more clarity in the rules.
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:01 PM
412 posts, read 81,181 times
Reputation: 1052
I can understand not wanting to move, but with such unclarity concerning what he expects you to do with the landscaping, I would move and I would tell the landlord why. I would be very interested if I were you, of just what the leases of the other tenant said. I'm suspicious that there is more to your lease regarding the landscaping because the landlord realized - after the fact - that the other tenants weren't required to do as much work as he wanted to keep the landscaping up to par.

Perhaps you should tell the landlord you are renting a chainsaw and cutting everything down to the ground. I'm just being sarcastic, that would probably cause more problems than help.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:05 AM
16,723 posts, read 17,874,561 times
Reputation: 24002
As a tenant I would have no interest in doing yard work. To me thatís the LL problem.
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:14 AM
2,784 posts, read 1,015,295 times
Reputation: 5323
Some of the houses on my street are rented and the tenants accept responsibility for yard work. However, there's yard work and then there's professional landscaping. Anyone can mow the lawn and pull some weeds and since you live there, it's to your benefit that it looks presentable. But the landscaping and topiary in your pictures is not for anyone with a kitchen scissors to keep up with. It's actually pretty nice and if you can afford it, I'd probably rather negotiate the cost of a service coming in than run the risk of destroying it. The landlord should also appreciate that keeping it up properly makes his property attractive to renters and if you're month to month and want to stay, now is the time to try and sort it out.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:49 AM
Location: SW Florida
9,282 posts, read 4,055,577 times
Reputation: 19288
My lease, back when we rented, stated that we were responsible for yard work which, in my opinion, means cutting the grass and using the trimmer. Apparently the landlord expected us to trim the two huge mahogany trees in the front yard which was not specified in the lease. In researching it online apparently trimming trees is not in the description of "lawn maintenance". My late husband was in his 60's with spinal stenosis. I told the landlord since it was not in the lease we weren't trimming the trees and if he insisted he had better have good insurance to take care of any injuries we suffered if something happened to us while cutting his trees. He finally got someone to take care of the trees.

Taking care of grass and keeping the place looking nice should be done but a landlord shouldn't expect a tenant to go crazy with the yard. He should just hire a service and up the rent a little bit or do it himself.
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Old 11-24-2018, 09:24 AM
7,618 posts, read 3,837,015 times
Reputation: 10517
Originally Posted by stlcard86 View Post
I do realize I am stuck in the lease with the current terms and that it is basically decided, but right now I am month-to-month and possibly with my roommate moving out in two months. But I dread moving...I just want this situation to be fair for everyone and not to be bothered about it again.

As things stand now, I would get out of there asap. It sounds like this is something that will never be resolved satisfactorily to all parties. And the bit about LL telling you how to clean your room is over the top.

If you stay, you're never going to get the other tenants to all participate equally so I'd completely blow it off and force the LL to hire a service. At least then the costs would be divided equally.
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:30 AM
3,476 posts, read 3,333,332 times
Reputation: 8930
That landscaping is gorgeous, and very high maintenance. No one in their right mind would plant a rental property that way. If it is very overgrown, it may be too late to bring it back. The only way that landscaping is going to be maintained is if it is done by a professional gardener, on a regular, scheduled basis. Tell the LL that this landscaping cannot be maintained by an amateur, that it is beyond your capability, certainly cannot be done as a "shared" job by the two units, and that he should hire a professional landscaper. He's going to have to work out the coverage of the cost of it with both units, or just pay for it himself and raise the rent the next time around.
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