Grass left to grow too long

13 Replies

I’m 2 months into my first rental property and had an issue with grass growing too long and had to pay twice as much to take care of it. I am transitioning from the previous property manager (who handled the property before I bought it) to a new property manager. I am not sure what happened or why it was left to grow too long but was wondering if anyone had systems in place to prevent this kind of issue and if it has worked well for them? Thank you

If this is a SF house then the tenants should be mowing the grass.

Sounds like you need to check behind the PM to make sure they are doing their job.

Let your new PM know your expectations and write them into the contract. If they violate the terms of the contract you can fire them.

I agree with @John Underwood

Have the tenants do it. 

For now... pay someone. I use takl. 

When the lease expires wright in the new lease that tenant does lawn. Perhaps tell them the rent is going up $100 but they’ll get a $50 discount for every month even in the winter! 

The good news.... if you do exactly that, you can fire your PM and stop paying their fee because you’re doing it yourself and you’re better at it. 

Time spent on this..... 20 minutes per year. Saves you 10% per month. 

If it's a SFR the tenants should be handling that. And I would hire a landscaper to come monthly or bi weekly, but if you have a PM he should be facilitating that. I'm not sure how close you live to the property but in my opinion if this is your first and only property. You can cut cost by self managing it yourself in the beginning. You'll save a lot!

Your property manager should handle the grass.  My standard is every 2 weeks during season, which runs from March-October.  November - February are monthly checks for trash and debris.

Originally posted by @Ben M. :
I’m 2 months into my first rental property and had an issue with grass growing too long and had to pay twice as much to take care of it. I am transitioning from the previous property manager (who handled the property before I bought it) to a new property manager. I am not sure what happened or why it was left to grow too long but was wondering if anyone had systems in place to prevent this kind of issue and if it has worked well for them? Thank you

 As the owner of a property managed by a 3rd party it isn't on you to have a system in place for that. It's on the property management company. What is on you is hiring a company capable of having said system in place. I don't know if 1 time means you immediately switch gears but if it were a recurring theme then yes I'd say you want to pivot to someone else.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

If this is a SF house then the tenants should be mowing the grass.

Sounds like you need to check behind the PM to make sure they are doing their job.

Let your new PM know your expectations and write them into the contract. If they violate the terms of the contract you can fire them.

 Yikes! We would never allow tenants to mow the lawn. We suggest cutting it twice a month at most places and that is acceptable. Tenants don't do edging, don't pull weeds. Frankly, whenever we inherit a new property under management it's easy to tell the tenant was doing the mowing.

Same goes with shoveling snow, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen if you put it on the tenant. No one is suing a renter when the landlord owns the 6-7 figure property. 

And you are paying a PM for? This issue is in their job responsibility....if they don't do it...... find a new PM.

Originally posted by @Peter T.:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

If this is a SF house then the tenants should be mowing the grass.

Sounds like you need to check behind the PM to make sure they are doing their job.

Let your new PM know your expectations and write them into the contract. If they violate the terms of the contract you can fire them.

 Yikes! We would never allow tenants to mow the lawn. We suggest cutting it twice a month at most places and that is acceptable. Tenants don't do edging, don't pull weeds. Frankly, whenever we inherit a new property under management it's easy to tell the tenant was doing the mowing.

Same goes with shoveling snow, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen if you put it on the tenant. No one is suing a renter when the landlord owns the 6-7 figure property. 

 I've never hear of a landlord providing lawn care. It is not done around here that I have ever hear of. 

Tenants must mow their grass and pay for all utilities, no exceptions.

@Peter T. . New Jersey must be sue happy. Every SFH and/or duplex around here has the tenant mow the lawn. Yes, I do monthly checks for weeds and landscaping because tenants won't do as good a job. But it's better than weekly lawn mowing in April-July. Every two weeks? That's too long around here in the spring and early summer.

City did call me once this spring and said there's been a complaint to mow the lawn. They gave me 48 hours or they would charge me $65 to get it mowed. I gave tenants 48 hours or I would charge them $65 to get it mowed. It's in the lease. 

Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

@Peter T. . New Jersey must be sue happy. Every SFH and/or duplex around here has the tenant mow the lawn. Yes, I do monthly checks for weeds and landscaping because tenants won't do as good a job. But it's better than weekly lawn mowing in April-July. Every two weeks? That's too long around here in the spring and early summer.

City did call me once this spring and said there's been a complaint to mow the lawn. They gave me 48 hours or they would charge me $65 to get it mowed. I gave tenants 48 hours or I would charge them $65 to get it mowed. It's in the lease. 

 I'm talking about getting sued in a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk in the winter, not because your grass isn't mowed.

No one is going to take better care of your property than you. We don't like to manage property where the tenant mows the lawn because it usually looks bad and therefore is a poor reflection on the owner and my company managing the property. I have a rental next door to mine where the tenant does the grass. The grass is a foot high, I kid you not and weeds are all along the curb and apron of the driveway. Just looks bad.

For snow removal, it doesn't really matter if your Lease says the tenant must do it. If someone slips and breaks their ankle, the tenant who is renting (i.e. not wealthy) is not going to be likely to pay a lawsuit, but the owner (who likely has equity) can. That's a poor risk to take, just one mans opinion. As a management company who already wears lots of liability, we damn sure are not going to allow the tenants to shovel.