First Duplex: Lawn Care/Snow Removal

7 Replies

Hello BP Community, I am preparing to rent out my first duplex. There is a 2 bedroom unit and a 1 bedroom unit. How would you recommend structuring the lawn care/snow removal? The property is 1/8th of an acre so pretty small and there is a 1 car driveway, walkway and sidewalk that will need to be shoveled in the winter. Property is located in Metro Detroit in a B class neighborhood. Thanks! Jason

I bought an unoccupied duplex. So i guess the first question is should i place responsibility on the tenants and if so, how should i do that? Should i leave it to the 2 bedroom tenant or split it between the two?

We treat lawn care as an expense. It is passed through to the tenant by way of rent. It is not a separate bill that they receive. It is ultimately your responsibility as the property owner to keep your property up. If the grass is not cut, the city will come after you, not your tenants. When analyzing your NOI prior to purchase, I recommend you be sure to include all property maintenance items in your expenses.

@Jason Mazza I would definitely charge it back to the tenants in the form of rent, as @Chris Clark said.  You said there is a only a one car driveway.  Do you plan on only allowing for one tenant to park there?  If so, that tenant should probably have a bit more responsibility for the snow removal/lawn care expenses, since they are receiving the benefit of parking in a non-snow covered driveway.  If not, I would split it down the middle, regardless of the rent paid.  If both tenants have access to the same amount of lawn/driveway, they should both have the same responsibility. 

Go buy a $150 lawnmower and a $25 snow shovel. Issue it with their lease.  Make whoever has backyard privileges do it.

ALL my tenants SFH or MFH do their own lawn care. People rent homes because they want more privacy than an apartment. Make people be adults and take their of the lawn.