Who is responsible for cutting the grass?

We live in a rented house and the landlord left a lawnmower in the Shed. Does that mean I have to cut the grass? Surely maintenance is up to him? I lived in an apartment before and all of the gardening was taken care of by the management company.

Your first port of call should be to check the tenancy agreement that you would have signed with your landlord at the time of moving in to the house. The tenancy agreement contains all of the information relating to the tenancy and sets out the rights and responsibilities of all parties to the lease.In my experience, in the case of house rentals, it is usual that the tenant would be responsible for cutting the grass. The fact that the landlord has provided a lawnmower would also suggest that this is implied.Your mention that you previously rented an apartment and the outside areas were taken care of by the management company and this is because in apartment developments, the areas outside the apartments are common areas under the control of the management company. It is different in the case of a house whereby a back garden is owned by the property owner.It is good practice for tenants and landlords to agree all such matters prior to finalising a lease agreement so that it is clear who is responsible for what.I can only assume that in your case this was not discussed and hence the reason for your query and so I would suggest that you speak with your landlord now and take it from there.

On the matter of maintenance a landlord is responsible for ensuring that the house is habitable and meets health and safety regulations and fire safety and that it has proper services. He is also responsible for the up keep of those in so far as the problems that may arise with them are not the fault of the tenant.

Fergal Hopkins is a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland www.scsi.ie