My rental lease agreement says that I am responsible for backyard maintenance.

Asked by Bradley, Scottsdale, AZ Tue Jul 2, 2013

A large 40ft Eucalyptus tree in the backyard needs to be taken down because two branches recently fell. One went into the neighbors yard and the other hit our roof and the neighbors roof. Fortunately, it didn't really do any damage as it only fell a couple feet. Whose responsibility is it to pay for the tree removal? The landlord says he will "share" the cost...

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10
Howard Rudin, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Nov 20, 2013
I manage property and recently had to remove a pine tree due it damaging fencing and be a potential source of further trouble. The owner paid for this expense.
0 votes
Bianca Benne…, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Tue Jul 9, 2013
It really depends on what the lease agreement says. Let me know if I can help.

Best Regards,

Real Estate Professional / Prestige Realty
Bianca Bennett / 602-570-7898
Bianca@InvestInArizonaHomes.com
Website: http://www.InvestInArizonaHomes.com
0 votes
I think you are supposed to pay for the tree service. If your lease says that you pay for tree service you should pay for it. I don't think that landlord should pay for anything. If he offers to pay some of it I would be a little wary of that. http://www.johnsprotreeserviceinc.com
Flag Fri Nov 14, 2014
Laura Fox, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Mon Jul 8, 2013
This is owners property. Backyard maintenance means plants, grass, weeds, pools, Not Large Tree's. Suggest he files an insurance claim even tho damage was not serious. They may go ahead and take it out if the tree is unstable. Losing large limbs can make a tree unbalanced and can cause damage in the future.
0 votes
Matthew Hoedt, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Jul 3, 2013
This really goes well beyond "yard maintenance" and seems like something the landlord should be responsible for. If the tree caused damage to your house or your neighbor's, it would be his insurance that covers it, not yours. There are some landlord-tenant services and hotlines for Maricopa County that you can find here: http://www.azhousing.gov/ShowPage.aspx?ID=484&CID=11
0 votes
Jason Grandon, Agent, scottsdale, AZ
Wed Jul 3, 2013
Why does the tree need to be removed, if it is being maintained? Just have it cut back? Also, before the tree is cut down, I would have the landlord give you WRITTEN PERMISSION to do so. You could find that the landlord might try to dip into your security deposit when you move out.
If you have a descent relationship with your landlord, I would try to stay away from attorneys. That will make the relationship go south very fast. If your thinking about getting an attorney, let maybe you should look at another rental home first and save the headache and money. Good luck and feel free to call with any questions.

Jason
Instantrenters.com
0 votes
Franci Hicks, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Jul 2, 2013
Who is he kidding? Yard maintenance is not yard repair. The tree is his responsibility unless it's specifically stated that you are responsible for the tree. Does he want you to replace the 20 year old HVAC when that stops working too? I'm not an attorney so contact tenant rights for legal advice. Google for the HUD web site. Good luck!
0 votes
Kelly Cook R…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Jul 2, 2013
That sounds like the landlord is attempting to do the right thing and at least spilt the cost with you. But like other have posted it depends on the specific terms listed in your lease agreement. Based on the limited info you have posted I would say it is your responsibility to maintain the tree if it is in the backyard.
0 votes
Unfortunately the lease agreement is very vague on this point. It does not specify at all what is considered "maintenance" other than the fact that I am responsible for "maintenance" of the backyard.
Flag Tue Jul 2, 2013
Shahla Mentha, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Jul 2, 2013
Hi Patrick,

I agree, it depends on your lease agreement language. If I would assume it simply mentions backyard maintenance, it should be just that, and not removal of a large tree! What would happen if it falls on the roof and damages the roof, are you responsible to do roof repair as well?

Good luck
0 votes
Jennie Miller…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Tue Jul 2, 2013
You should read the lease that you signed to see what your obligation is to maintain the yard.
0 votes
Unfortunately the lease agreement is very vague on this point. It does not specify at all what is considered "maintenance" other than the fact that I am responsible for "maintenance" of the backyard.
Flag Tue Jul 2, 2013
Jeffrey Masi…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Jul 2, 2013
Dear Patrick:

I would interpret backyard maintenance to be usual yard maintenance not large trees falling over. However, the language of your lease would govern your situation which we do not have in this public forum. Read the lease and discuss with your landlord. If you need legal assistance you can contact your attorney.

May I wish you the best.
0 votes
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