Lawn Mowing
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Lawn Mowing (by Dan [OH]) Sep 6, 2011 4:23 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Bill [TX]) Sep 6, 2011 4:34 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by p m h [TX]) Sep 6, 2011 4:37 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Dan [OH]) Sep 6, 2011 4:41 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by in [IN]) Sep 6, 2011 5:14 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Smokowna [MD]) Sep 6, 2011 5:21 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by in [IN]) Sep 6, 2011 5:22 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Reid [KS]) Sep 6, 2011 7:04 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Dan [WI]) Sep 6, 2011 8:46 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Reid [KS]) Sep 6, 2011 9:38 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Sep 6, 2011 9:44 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Josh [CA]) Sep 6, 2011 10:17 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by Josh [CA]) Sep 6, 2011 10:23 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Sep 7, 2011 12:57 AM
       Lawn Mowing (by Virden [OH]) Sep 7, 2011 5:40 AM
       Lawn Mowing (by illini fan [OH]) Sep 7, 2011 6:53 AM
       Lawn Mowing (by Andrew R. [UT]) Sep 7, 2011 10:49 AM
       Lawn Mowing (by Nancy [IN]) Sep 7, 2011 3:34 PM
       Lawn Mowing (by charles arnone [NY]) Mar 25, 2013 6:52 AM

Lawn Mowing (by Dan [OH]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 4:23 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm interested in getting some folks' opinions on a situation I have. I know that I have seen veteran LLs on this site dish out some "tough love" and if I need some of that, I'm ready! :-).

I have a rental home (SFH), and in the lease the tenant is responsible for routine maintenance such as mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, etc. I have a few SFHs with this clause and have never really had any issues until now.

The current tenant moved in last December and pretty much never (rarely) cuts the grass. I have had a few calls from the neighbor about it and I have spoken to the tenant a few times about it, and in past times that I've talked to her it eventually gets done.

She is a single mom with kids and does not own a lawnmower, and has called her uncle to come cut it the past times. I suggested she cut it herself, and she said she "has allergies".

I got a call from the service director of the village on Friday (I am assuming that the neighbor called them). He left a message for me about the grass and said if it wasn't cut by Tuesday (today) that he would cut it and put a lien on the property, etc.

I called the tenant about it on Friday and told her it needed to get cut this weekend. She had other excuses about it, and said she had talked to folks and they were charging $50, which I'm not sure I believe (we're talking postage stamp lot).

So I drove by on Monday afternoon and it was not cut and it was jungly. She was not home and not wanting to deal with the village, I cut it.

So, I look to you, veteran LLs for you would do next in my situation. Clearly something has to change and I think that it's unlikely that this situation will get any better. Good news is that it's almost winter and probably won't need to get cut many more times before then. She is in a 1 year lease till June 1 of next year.

In the lease it does say that this is her responsibility, but there is nothing about me charging her if I have to do it (reminder to self to add to future leases). So I didn't think I could just send her a bill for $50 or whatever.

Can I evict for this? Is it worth doing? I've heard that it's tough to "prove" for things like this (as opposed to non-payment of rent). How would I even give notice on this (my previous evictions have all been for non-payment so I post pay or quit notices)

In any case, thanks to everyone in advance. I have not yet spoken to her / mailed her anything but I know I should soon - I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

Lawn Mowing (by Bill [TX]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 4:34 PM

Get a quote for having the lawn mowed. Bill the tenant that amount.

If your lease has "Application of funds" verbiage: "Landlord will apply all funds received from Tenant first to any non rent obligations of Tenant including late charges, returned check charges, charge-backs for repairs, notice fees, and utilities, then to rent regardless of any notations on check.", then if unpaid, the next rent will be short, and you can serve notice to evict for unpaid rent (if that is what you want to do).

Based on what you said, and the time of year, and your northern location, you may think it better to keep this tenant till spring.

Lawn Mowing (by p m h [TX]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 4:37 PM

big selling point for my houses is that lawncare is included. my rents are a little higher than comparables, but I am selling no hassle rentals. I pay a retiree $25 per time to mow. he's happy bingo money). I'm happy (no calls from the city), tenants happy because they don't have to jack with it.

Lawn Mowing (by Dan [OH]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 4:41 PM

Thank you Bill - my lease does have a section that says

"8. Allocation of payments: All money received from Resident(s) is first applied to any past due balance on Residentís account, including unpaid rent, deposits, damages, or utility charges and any additional charges or fees. Second, the balance of money received is then applied to current rent due."

I agree that evicting before spring doesn't seem like a great idea. I just want to make sure I'm not teaching / reinforcing the lesson "If I ignore the lawn then it "magically" gets cut"

Lawn Mowing (by in [IN]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 5:14 PM

You are the owner and it is your responsibility to see it is mowed, regardless of what the lease say.

I mow my own, let me check on them, I would have it mowed, and keep a record of the pay outs and deduct it from their security deposit. Spread grass seed today, now I like to do it, as for the snow no way..I have college rentals, and they are suppose to mow the grass.

Lawn Mowing (by Smokowna [MD]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 5:21 PM

I don't believe tenants should mow grass. It costs so little in the scheme of things to have a service do it.

In this way the home always looks fine, never attracts the attention of neighbors.

In your case I would not toss a paying tenant because of lawn work. She could easily move away to one of the many empty apartments out there.

Lawn Mowing (by in [IN]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 5:22 PM

I use my mowing as a selling point, parents and female renter like to have it done for them...

I meet new tenants in the area workers in the area, and even other guys mowing the yard...My goal is to keep them rented, and I feel it helps be out there...

Lawn Mowing (by Reid [KS]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 7:04 PM

By all means send them a bill . Find out what the high yard services in your area charges and add $10. If she pays she'll learn if she doesn't pay the bill is still owed you and when she moves it'll come out of their SD plus past due charges which you need to put in small print at the bottom of the bill.

Lawn Mowing (by Dan [WI]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 8:46 PM

I've not had to deal with this situation, as I include lawn maintenance/snow removal in the deal. It costs me a little more, but like someone else said, I get tenants that appreciate a hassle-free experience and I know it's well taken care of. My only advice to you is to discuss this w/the tenant in person if at all possible. The idea of just sending a letter TELLING her what to do, will not sit well with most people (tenants or LLs). I would probably go over there and tell her what the problem is: she signed a lease agreeing to maintain lawn, and yet the HOA has proven that's not happening. Now it's time to find a solution. Maybe you should propose that you'll find a person to cut the lawn every other week (that's what I do; only gets a little shaggy for a few weeks in Spring), and you adjust the lease so she pays for it. If you decide to reduce the amount from her SD, I wouldn't mention it until she moves out.

Lawn Mowing (by Reid [KS]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 9:38 PM

Maybe mowing included in the rent would be a good thing ? I might even try it come next spring and see how it flies. It would possibly add $400-450 to annual rent or $45-$50 per month just roughly figuring.

Lawn Mowing (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 9:44 PM

Our lease is clear - if we have to mow to avoid the city's fine and charges, our bill starts at $50, BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO DO IT!!

No animosity, just send a bill for $50, to be paid on or before the next rent.

Our city's minimum is $227.

Lawn Mowing (by Josh [CA]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 10:17 PM

My solution is to remove the problem completely. By re-landscaping with fake turf, hardscape, natural local plants that are drought tolerant.

Lawns are a thing of the past IMO. The future of SFH with lawns is bleak. With water use getting more restricted as time marches on. Lawns are so 60's or 50's really. When we lived life in large glups of over indulgence in the USA. Gas was 20 cents a gallon and when you filled up your car with gas an attendant pumped your gas and washed your windshield. There were still milkmen delivering to your doorstep.

Re-landscaping is the solution I have chosen. Landscapes at my properties need only a 1/4ly trim and upkeep session. Use very little water. Re-occurring high water

bills have gone away. Monthly gardener bills have gone away. Property appearance stays nice with little effort.

Sure it's work to re-landscape and takes some $. After it's done you are done investing time and investing monthly inflated upkeep costs. The big picture is peachy.

I don't need a lawn to mow and etc to get me at a property. I can find plenty of things to do that will improve my buildings so they become more and more profitable.

Lawn Mowing (by Josh [CA]) Posted on: Sep 6, 2011 10:23 PM

Brad how much on a average do you spend on yards? I'm talking gardeners, water?

You use quick books? Shouldn't be hard to run a report if you do.

How much money would it free up after you re-landscaped? Worth the investment I'm sure.

Lawn Mowing (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 12:57 AM

Now if Allure came in green....

Grass is expected here in Indiana. Mowing is seldom a problem.

Fall leaves make gravel beds a pain. The rock landscaped yards here look very out of place.

We use TONS of mulch to dress up foundations and GALLONS of Roundup along fence rows, etc.

For our vacants and multis, I pay $15 per small yard mowing, $25 for larger or outlying houses.

Water? we're dealing with flooding!

We disconnect outdoor hose faucets whenever possible to avoid water vandalism.

Lawn Mowing (by Virden [OH]) Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 5:40 AM

I have heard some stories about the fines here also starting at 250, she said that someone wanted 50 to cut it - perfect, send a rent bill for next cycle to include 50bux for your son's lawn care company that cut the lawn, I always take a before and after photo, which recently helped me win a cracked driveway expense when the outgoing tenant who did not cut used a large commercial truck and I had to cut when they didn't what a difference a heavy truck makes - 4000bux estimates to replace 80 feet of broken concrete I accidentally took a before picture while mowing.

Lawn Mowing (by illini fan [OH]) Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 6:53 AM

The last few years I have been supplying lawn mowers at a number of my SFH's. Most of my tenants are younger and don't have lawn mowers. I can't say that they mow the grass as often as I like, but at least it doesn't get high enough to attract the city's attention. You can get one off CL for $100.

I've been considering for some time the idea of having them mowed instead. I don't know if tenants would pay much extra, but at least I wouldn't annoyed about it any more.

Lawn Mowing (by Andrew R. [UT]) Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 10:49 AM

I mow my duplex down the street because it literally takes me less than an hour to drive there, mow, and come back. My rent is higher than the average rent in the same area. --168.178.xx.xx

Lawn Mowing (by Nancy [IN]) Posted on: Sep 7, 2011 3:34 PM

NO! Do NOT supply lawn mowers. If the tenant gets hurt using one, you will be sued. Never do that.

I'm stuck with half-acre lots and it's expensive here to mow them $30-40 per week. My rents don't justify this expense so I only rent to people who have demonstrated the ability to do this and I have never had a problem in 10 years. My houses look better than the surrounding ones because my tenants keep the yards looking nice and are fully apprised before they move in that this is their responsibility and exactly how it is to be done and how often, and that they will be billed if I have to do it or if the city does it.

Send her a notice to cure or quit. Cut the grass weekly or get out. If you are nicer than me, then tell her that it will be cut for the nominal fee of X dollars per week if she declines to do it. Then don't renew her.

If you have small lawns, you may not want to do it, but I don't and I won't.

She should have known better than to rent a house with a lawn and a requirement that the lawn be cut if she really has allergies.

Lawn Mowing (by charles arnone [NY]) Posted on: Mar 25, 2013 6:52 AM

hi. my tenantis moving out and lease agreement clearly stated she was responsible for lawncare.i had to spend 300.00 over last yr for lawn cutting. was getting complaints from neighbors. can withhold the 300.00 i spent from her security deposit. i have the dates and canceled checks for what i spent

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