Tenant SUV damages grass
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Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Feb 4, 2019 7:49 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Nicole [PA]) Feb 4, 2019 8:00 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Feb 4, 2019 8:08 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Richard [MI]) Feb 4, 2019 8:14 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Melodie [MA]) Feb 4, 2019 8:16 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Richard [MI]) Feb 4, 2019 8:19 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Feb 4, 2019 8:31 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by moby [IN]) Feb 4, 2019 8:33 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Robert J [CA]) Feb 4, 2019 8:57 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Busy [WI]) Feb 4, 2019 9:30 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by JB [OR]) Feb 4, 2019 9:49 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Steve [MA]) Feb 5, 2019 3:41 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by elliot [RI]) Feb 5, 2019 4:23 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by S i d [MO]) Feb 5, 2019 4:40 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by LindaJ [NY]) Feb 5, 2019 5:42 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Nicole [PA]) Feb 5, 2019 6:06 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by plenty [MO]) Feb 5, 2019 6:08 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Vee [OH]) Feb 5, 2019 6:18 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Busy [WI]) Feb 5, 2019 7:27 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Feb 5, 2019 7:30 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Feb 5, 2019 7:48 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Vee [OH]) Feb 5, 2019 8:01 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Busy [WI]) Feb 5, 2019 8:20 AM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Feb 5, 2019 12:51 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by DJ [VA]) Feb 5, 2019 4:16 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by LindaJ [NY]) Feb 5, 2019 5:29 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by AllyM [NJ]) Feb 5, 2019 6:12 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Feb 5, 2019 6:33 PM
       Tenant SUV damages grass (by Robin [WI]) Feb 5, 2019 8:34 PM

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Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 7:49 PM

Hello everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster. I owner-occupy a duplex. Current tenant has rented from me since June 2018. My tenant has a huge SUV. She's missed the driveway and has gone onto the grass once or twice before, but no damage was done, so I didn't say anything. This past week, she's been missing the driveway - well - a lot. And this is when the snow has melted, so there's no excuse. With the lawn wet from the rain and melted snow, she has driven deep, deep ruts into the lawn within two feet of the driveway. This will need a lot more than re-seeding, and it will likely require a professional landscaper to fix the damage.

The problem is, it's winter, so I can't get the lawn fixed right now and bill the tenant. I told her that she will need to pay for the damages. She's refusing to take responsibility, saying "it's just grass," "I don't want to drive a subcompact like you," "I didn't want the bushes to scratch my vehicle," and "if you care so much, maybe you shouldn't be a landlord." This came completely out of left field, as this tenant thus far has been perfect. I don't know what to do, since I can't get it fixed until the spring. Do I raise the rent to cover the damages when it's lease renewal time? Do I wait possibly years till she moves out, and take it out of her damage deposit? Please advise. Thank you!


Tenant SUV damages grass (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:00 PM

what her attitude, how can you possibly consider that she'll be a tenant for several years ?!?!?!?

Get an estimate from someone and tell her it's due now.

Also, why a professional landscaper? Anyone can shovel and rake dirt and toss out grass seed. --72.70.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:08 PM

Nicole - I would want a professional landscaper to do this, because I can't lift 40 lb bags of topsoil. I should add I'm a woman, and I have no husband/boyfriend to help me. --67.149.xx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:14 PM

Hey some railroad ties and rebar spikes about 24" long. Put ties by edge of the drive , drill 2-3 holes in each tie. Drive 24 inch spikes through ties into ground.

Call it landscaping. Maybe groundcover on top of ties.

If tenant can't park, the ties will protect your yard. --23.121.xx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Melodie [MA]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:16 PM

Sorry for this nightmare....Not to mention your the need to water the see every day for 5-6 weeks in May and June! --173.48.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:19 PM

Also, well placed ties keep tenants and their friends from pulling right up to the door.

They also block off pulling into the back yard.

Use plenty.

If you decide to use rocks, get BIG rocks. Too big to move. 500 pounds or more, preferably 1000 pounds or more. Tenants will roll smaller ones out of their way. --23.121.xx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:31 PM

Ties or rocks may be a good idea! Only problem is, given the layout of my lawn, it would make mowing difficult. --67.149.xx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by moby [IN]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:33 PM

Fix it charge the tenant, any more guff don't renew at the earliest opportunity, you are the landlord, it is your property. --68.60.xxx.xx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 8:57 PM

I have a duplex in the City and those tenants next door often drive up on the sidewalk, run over my sprinklers and damage my lawn. This also happens with a 4 plex I own nearby.

So after many warnings and letters, I got sick of this. So I purchased a 2000 pound boulder, used my 10 ton truck with liftgate and hoist to purchase it and set it in place.

Within a week all of the neighbors tenants, who said they never drove on my lawn or damaged my sprinklers all had damage to their front end of their vehicles.

I had left a 1 foot space between the bolder and the sidewalk and the neighbors driveway. So the only way for them to hit the bolder was to enter my property by a foot.

On my 4 plex I installed metal posts along the entire property line because those tenants would drive on my lawn, scrubs, sprinklers and side walkway. Those tenants each damaged their side mirrors. Problem solved. --47.156.xx.xx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 9:30 PM

1.) tenantís attitude toward the damage, not good.

2.) your attitude towards the work needed, also not good. You can do this! Testosterone not needed.

Iím a grandma, and I could easily do this project.

I agree with making a boundary out of railroad ties. If it makes more work out of lawnmowing, time to get some gardening books from the library, put a mulched bed on the other side of the railroad ties, low maintenance plants. Or, just get a string trimmer.

Also trim the bushes on the other side that the tenant is trying to avoid. Iím big into gardening, but plants need to be kept in place. If those bushes have over grown their boundaries, they might benefit from a three year renewal plan, or even a good coppicing. Or, maybe the bushes need shovel pruning (evict the bushes.) Youíll need to decide.

At a house where I was Having the driveway replaced, the workers pouring concrete talked the boss into talking me into widening the driveway. I cannot believe what a difference an extra 14Ē made when backing my truck into that driveway. Glad the workers suggested that! A row of pavers would be easy to lay along the side of your driveway. Yes, theyíll get cracked, especially if the base doesnít drain or is uneven, but they are cheap. Iíve gotten free pavers off of Craigslist, in good condition.

A lot of women on this forum, doing a lot of heavy work. No excuses, just use your brains when you donít have brawn. You got this! Weíll support you! --70.92.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Feb 4, 2019 9:49 PM

"Tenant thus far has been perfect."

Well, I'd say she's not perfect anymore. With that attitude and comment she thinks she's in charge. Your job is to train her that she is not. AS soon as weather permits bring in your professional landscaper to fix it if you wish. Bill her in full. If she doesn't pay, give her notice that she will be moving and take it from her deposit.

You can do the other suggestions above later, but I would make it a point to charge her for this because of how she reacted...Be strong...remember who's in charge. --24.20.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Steve [MA]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 3:41 AM

Is this driveway used by both you & your tenant? If so is it for access to a parking area or for piggy back parking?

How wide is the driveway 8', 9', 10' or more?

I would be inclined to trim back the bushes, widen the driveway 1 - 3 feet and add landscape timbers or rocks as a border. This should make it easier for anyone to enter & exit the parking. If done right it shouldn't make it any harder to maintain the lawn. I would get an estimate from a landscaper to repair the damaged lawn portion & charge your tenant for that. The rest of the improvements would be paid for by me.

As far as her comments go, if this was a one time thing, I'd chalk it up her having a bad day & let it go. However if this was typical of her attitude, I would be either terminating her rental agreement or raising her rent enough to make her behavior easier to tolerate. It sounds to me as though she thinks she is in charge. --96.237.xx.xx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 4:23 AM

My good friend/neighbor/partner couple houses down has a driveway (less than 10 years old) that curves little bit before it hits curb/street.

Many guests who park in the driveway have trouble backing out and evidently hit one spot again and again, created a ditch.. I have laughed at his effort to seed, reseed..

If it is a problem spot for average drivers, remediate it.. If not, remediate the few who caused the damage.. --71.232.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 4:40 AM

As soon as weather permits, fix the problem however you choose and bill the tenant. If she refuses to pay, evict her. Also, be sure you have a reminder in your phone to issue a non-renewal of lease 60 days prior to the end of current lease. The attitude is unacceptable, so don't accept it.

"Out of left field" responses hint at more trouble to come. Layoff, boyfriend trouble, etc. Nothing that you want causing your problems long term.

Stay strong and do what Barney Fife would say, "Nip it...nip it in the bud!" --173.20.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 5:42 AM

RK, stop the "I am a woman with no boyfriend/husband" excuse. You didn't need a man to buy the house, you don't need a man to keep the house. (BTW, I have a husband - with no interest in my rentals - so I get things done myself as I did before I met him.)

"Work smarter, not harder." "Where there is a will, there is a way" For example, if you can't lift the 40 lb bag of topsoil, how can you move it? Of course Lowe's will load it in your vehicle, from there you might be able to roll it into a wheelbarrow that will move it to where you need it, then you tip it over to drop it. I am not saying you shouldn't hire a professional, but get rid of the excuses. Yes, somethings are beyond what any of us can do, but owning a rental requires at least knowledge and some hands on.

As others have said, if this is a problem, fix the underlying causes. Trim those bushes back. I am sure they will also look better, bushes should not be in the way of the driveway. The fixing of the ruts can be started by pushing the soft dirt that piled up back into the area, but it is probably best to somehow make that an area that won't be hurt by driving over as others suggested. One reason is that if moving/delivery/mail trucks need to come in they might need the area too. Sometimes we all miss calculate where we are in our vehicle.

As for the tenants attitude... again if a bad day, we all have them, if it is constant, do not renew, you don't need tenants with an attitude. --108.4.xxx.xx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 6:06 AM

I agree with the other ladies about "I am a sad little girl" excuse but that wasn't what I meant about why hire a landscaper. If you don't want to fix something like that yourself, don't. I seldom do any longer although I did for many, many years.

I meant your handyman could get out there and do it, a teenager could do it, etc.

I am not big on worrying about "if it goes to court" but in my area a landscape company would charge big bucks for something like this. A magistrate likely would not allow big bucks pricing for an every day issue that could have been handled much cheaper. --72.70.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 6:08 AM

There is a difference between grass and a lawn. Perhaps insert one of those reflective things on a stick for guidance. --99.203.xx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 6:18 AM

It doesn't matter what she drives the driver must be responsible for her actiones, get estimates and Bill in next rent cycle, if she moves next month you would have to do it with the deposit accounting statement and there may not be enough left for this. OH 5321.05 is where your tenant has gone sour. Once you have written estimate you could offer a split because the weather was really crummy but never pay more than half yourself.


Tenant SUV damages grass (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 7:27 AM

Tenantís attitude results from landlord who doesnít come across as strong, capable. If I had a landlord saying they could not fix those little ruts because they are a woman... well, iíd offer to fix the ruts come spring, were I the tenant. But, I would sure be thinking like the tenant was.

With a can-do attitude, the landlord and tenant could easily fix this together. Big SUVs are great for getting a couple of bags of topsoil, grass seed from the hardware store. Also good for hauling bush/ shrubbery trimmings to the local compost station. (Other landlords will say never ever let a tenant do anything that can be construed as working for you, lest tenant hurt their back, or something. Probably good advice. I tend to color outside the lines a bit. )

RK, you are among friends here. Weíre tough, but weíre fair. You are part of the group now. Weíll enable you to do this!

Best thing to do in situations like this is: anticipate issues, remedy before first sign of trouble. Tenant has a larger vehicle, backing up isnít easy for many people. Cut the bushes back at least six inches from concrete. All of which could have been done last June, when tenant moved in with a big vehicle. (Now, if only I had that crystal ball for all of the goofy situations I have found myself into, to prevent before a situation happened. Especially to prevent the furnace thieves. Ouch! That mistake cost me big time.) --70.92.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 7:30 AM

Most of her remarks, I would let pass. She would pay to fix the damage.

The remark about maybe I shouldn't be a landlord would have been met with "Maybe I shouldn't be your landlord. I assume you are giving notice?"

Your tenant has been their long enough to assume she has ownership rights. Time to go. --98.146.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 7:48 AM

You guys all have great responses! Thank you! There is a detached two car garage behind the duplex, with a one-car-wide driveway leading to the garage. I don't know the width of the driveway off-hand, and I'm at work at this moment so I can't measure. But she did have furniture delivered recently, and the driver of the big delivery truck did not go on the grass when he backed into the driveway. So, the driveway is plenty wide. There are English yew bushes along one side of this driveway. The thing is, I think the bushes are an excuse. The bushes run along maybe 10 feet of the driveway, but the damaged area is at least double that. I trimmed the bushes in early December, so that they are not hanging over the driveway. Somehow, the bushes weren't a problem until the past week? She's just a bad driver, that's all. I do all the lawn work, including mowing, pulling weeds, raking leaves, planting flowers, and, yes, trimming bushes. All the tenant needed to do was call me, text me, tell me in person, etc. that she would like the bushes trimmed further back.

If I wanted to fix this myself, yes, technically I could do it (come to think of it, I was slinging around 40 lb bags of mulch this past summer. It was difficult, but I did it). But why should I spend a weekend doing this, when it's the tenant who caused the damage? Especially with that attitude, where she made it clear that she doesnít care? If she apologized and promised to make things right, Iíd feel differently. Also, I have a big vegetable garden, and that's where I'd rather spend my time when the weatherís good.

I think what I'll do is call my favorite landscaping company later this week, and ask them to come out and give me an estimate. I'll bill the tenant on the next rental cycle. If she refuses to pay, I'll do one of two things. If there are no further issues from her, other than this, I'll raise the rent on July 1 so that I can recover the damages, and more. My lease converts to month-to-month after the first year, so I'd be able to kick her out any time with 30 day notice if I choose to let her stay. Or, if she doesn't like the rent increase and chooses to move, I will take the money out of her security deposit. I charge below market rent (this is a three bedroom, and I charge the market rate of a two-bedroom. Her loss if she moves over this).

I don't like how this tenant tried to manipulate me into thinking it was my fault and I caused her to tear up the grass, with that bush trimming nonsense. Doesn't pay to evict over this, though, because the court costs would exceed the cost to fix this. In the meantime, in the next couple days, I can put up the dozen or so 6 ft high plant support stakes I have on hand and use string to create a ďfence.Ē Since I canít fix the damage until winterís over, Iíll have plenty of time to think about other landscaping options, like rocks or railroad ties.


Tenant SUV damages grass (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 8:01 AM

You need to spend some time with a local landlord group, when you evict you recover the court cost, some areas allow lawyer fees but my big city court does not, gotta know the habits of your housing court.


Tenant SUV damages grass (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 8:20 AM

Awesome! You have this well in hand!

Yep, sounds like she backs up as well as....ME! Lol!

Btw, you sound very strong, capable in this response. So, Iíll join the others about her Ďtude It was rude!

Black and Decker has a book, The Complete Guide to Creative Landscapes, that Iíve gotten good ideas out of. Good pics, explanations on how to do things. --70.92.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 12:51 PM

Why are you asking us for an answer? The tenant already told you the solution. Plant a sticker bush in that area. She'll avoid it.

Or, I'd be tempted to just dig the hole deeper so she bottoms out. --108.69.xxx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 4:16 PM

RK: welcome

I see a problem with your plan. If she refuses to pay when billed, do NOT wait until July to take action! It must be immediate and decisive.

All money received is applied first to outstanding balance owed, then to the current rent. (If this is not already in your lease, add it.)

Now, if damages billed are (made-up numbers) $200, and rent is $900, and she pays $900 - ignoring your bill for damages - what she really has done is to pay the $200 damage bill, and only $700 of the rent that is due. Therefore, you immediately send a Notice of Unpaid Rent of $200 with a "threat" to pursue eviction(& charge a late fee).

If this doesn't straighten up her attitude, and she still persists in refusing to pay for damages, proceed with eviction. There is only more trouble ahead.

Best wishes - let us know how it goes, and keep posting


Tenant SUV damages grass (by LindaJ [NY]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 5:29 PM

RK, your last response shows the confident side of you needed for LL mode. Keep it up. But you are correct in that you should not have to fix damages yourself. Either your tenant should fix the damage or pay for someone to do it.

Don't take it personal when some of the women here jump on the excuse that something can't be done because of gender or lack of a male companion. I tend to think that is terrible way to live. My father taught me I can do anything I really want to do (I just may not want to do what I really need to!)

Keep in mind, living in the same building as a tenant for me would bring a whole new set of rules into play. My tenants lifestyle and attitude might be overlooked if I don't have to see or hear it everyday, but not so much if they were a close neighbor. --108.4.xxx.xx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 6:12 PM

Well if the bushes are scratching her car and making her do that then you need to cut back the bushes and see if that stops her. Since you also live there you are more in charge than any LLs who live elsewhere. You can give her an ultimatum, after you cut back the bushes, that she needs to stay off the law, park on the street or get out. --173.61.xxx.xx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by RK [OH]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 6:33 PM

Vee - I live in Franklin County. I know for sure a landlord can't recover the lawyer fees here from the tenant here.

Busy - Like you (and my tenant, apparently), I'm terrible at backing up, especially in a large vehicle. At least, unlike my tenant, I have the common sense to only drive small cars. I'll have to check out that book you mentioned. It might give me some great ideas.

Landlord of the Flies - I think you're actually on to something. This tenant is *so* concerned about her vehicle getting scratched. So concerned, that she didn't bother to contact me about it???? I will look into perhaps removing the grass and planting raspberry or blackberry bushes. Those plants can do double-duty of keeping the tenant on the driveway, as well as providing me some free groceries. And maybe I can create a border out of sharp rocks!

DJ - Yes, I will keep everyone posted! I already contacted a landscaping company I used in the past. Still waiting for a reply. This is a small job, so I don't know if they'd be interested. But it's worth a try. For the record, the rent is $1,150 per month.

LindaJ - I learned a lot from reading this forum over the past couple years. I learned from the best! Never posted before, though, simply because I've never had any problems. This is my first problem. Anyway, with me commenting about not being able to do certain stuff, it's the physical strength that's an issue. I can do plenty of "masculine" stuff on my own. Car maintenance is one example (I've had my car for ten years, and I've never once taken it in to be serviced. I've done everything on my own, strictly following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule). But, the fact is, I'm really petite, and my back really, really hurts when I lift more than 30 pounds. Is it worth me risking back injury just to save a few dollars? Nope!

Anyway, since "maybe I shouldn't be a landlord," I'm no longer going to do nice things for the tenant. For example, in the lease, it says the tenant is responsible for clearing snow from the driveway and walkways. This is in my lease because I take public transportation to work, so I personally don't need the driveway cleared of snow (on the weekdays, anyway). When we've had these heavy snows recently, I would spend two hours in the freezing cold, on my own without the tenant's help, shoveling snow from the long driveway. I did this just to be nice, even though I got no benefit from it. I'll quit shoveling the driveway during the week. I know, kind of petty, but I'm really mad. --67.149.xx.xxx

Tenant SUV damages grass (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2019 8:34 PM

I was going to pile onto the "Women Power" bandwagon, but I see it is already full. :)

Just don't descend to her level. If you allow her to provoke you to pettiness, you lose. Be the gracious one. Maybe she just got some bad news. Address the issue at hand and move on. --204.210.xxx.xxx

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