Lawn Maintenance during a Storm: Tenant and Landlord Responsibilities

Lawn Mower

There are many benefits to keeping your lawn well-maintained all year round, such as adding beauty to your home, reducing heat in your home and providing a play and relaxation area for children and families.

But even during the rainy season lawn care is essential. If you could believe it, lawn still needs to be watered – sometimes. For a lawn to be healthy, it needs 20-30 mm of water. For a simple solution to find out if your lawn has enough water during the rainy season, use a rain gauge to measure the rainfall and calculate if you still need to water. For a high-end solution, install an electronic soil moisture meter in your irrigation system. This will either deactivate your irrigation system if there is enough moisture, or interrupt ongoing irrigation.

After the rains have stopped, one important thing to remember is not to mow your lawn while still wet. This is because diseases-carrying organisms are more likely to attack wet, freshly cut grass. Allow your lawn to dry out before your start cutting.

Lawn Care in a Tenancy

The tenancy agreement between the Landlord and Tenant should include arrangements covering the maintenance of lawns, trees and gardens. The Entry Condition Report (Form 1a) and Exit condition report (Form 14a) should state the condition of the lawn and gardens.

The tenancy agreement should also specify if yard maintenance has been arranged by the landlord/property manager with a third party. The tenant should not be made to sign a maintenance agreement with a third party, on top of their rent, or should they be forced to hire a particular yard maintenance company.

Tenant Responsibilities

Generally, mowing, edging, weeding and other yard work are the responsibilities of the tenant. However, the lease contract should stipulate this.

Landlord Responsibilities

Tree lopping, hedging and pruning of trees and shrubs and other major work should be performed by the landlord or property manager as part of their duty to maintain the property in good condition.

Major works are not done regularly and usually performed by professionals using special equipment. These should not be the responsibility of the tenant unless otherwise stated in the lease.

Tenant or Landlord Responsibilities

Circumstances will determine whether the tenant or landlord is responsible for removing fallen branches.

Cleaning up small branches as soon as possible may be performed by the tenant. Removing larger branches, which may need special equipment and specialist skills, may be performed by the landlord or the property manager.

The responsibility of repairing the damage caused by falling branches may fall on the landlord/property manager.

Rain for consecutive days is not uncommon in Queensland anymore. This can pose problems to turf or lawns. While most lawns would be fine after four successive days of rain, even as short as 24 hours of water submersion can damage the grass and make them susceptible to diseases and insects.

What you need to do is wait for your lawn to dry up on its own to avoid any long-term damage to it. If you are renting, you can do minor cleaning or fixing required of your lawn after a storm or rain. Beyond that is the responsibility of your landlord or property manager.