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NedFlanders

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 

I went to pick up rent at my rental home yesterday, and the grass was about a foot high. It's explicitly spelled out in the rental agreement that the tenants are responsible for ALL exterior maintenance up to and including cutting the lawn. I gave them a hard time about it and they said they were going to cut it that day.

I plan on driving by in a couple days to see if its been cut. If it hasn't, what action can I take at that point? I'm worried about getting a ticket from the city (which they would be responsible for) and was considering calling and giving them a deadline to cut the lawn before I have a service do it and bill them for it. Can I do this? Or should I wait until the city tickets me and stick them with the bill for that?

NedFlanders

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #2 
So I just looked at the rental agreement again (duh!) and I can indeed have a service cut the lawn at my discretion and bill them for it. The question I now have is can I deduct this from their security deposit if they don't pay?
rkkeller

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Posts: 764
Reply with quote  #3 
A lot depends on the wording of your lease.

It says they are responsible for the yard work but does it say anything like:  must be cut weekly/monthly/etc... or "if not cut XXXX then a service will be used and so on???  Also how does it say they will be billed??  In some areas there has to be legal type working in the lease for things like that.  In NJ we have to have "collectible as rent" in some places then if they don't pay its the same as not paying rent.

You can give a 3 day to cure notice saying if not cut in 3 days your going to have the service cut the grass and they will be billed for it.

Security can usually only be used for damages when the tenant moves out, so I would hand them a bill and have them pay it that way.
MikeTfromCA

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Posts: 125
Reply with quote  #4 
Unless your local/state laws specifically state otherwise (and I'm not aware of any that do), then yes you can deduct from their security deposit for it.  The security deposit is not just to cover damages to the rental unit that are in excess of normal wear and tear, but actually any expenses incurred by you as a result of the tenant being in breach of the lease/rental agreement that haven't been paid by the tenant are subject to a deduction from the security deposit including any unpaid rent they may owe you.
rkkeller

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Posts: 764
Reply with quote  #5 
You sure don't live in NJ   as most of that is not allowed or needs super very specific wording to be allowed.
NedFlanders

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks to you both. I live in MI and will have to check on the security deposit law.
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