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Dear PoPville – Tenant upkeep responsibilities?


Photo by PoPville flickr user Carly & Art

Dear PoPville,

Myself and two other girls rent a house. Our landlord seems to expect that we should be doing all gardening work, including keeping the already overgrown ivy and weeds in check. (For reference, the back fence in the backyard is covered in probably a 2-foot-thick wall of ivy and is growing past the property, and it’s been that way since we moved in two months ago.) Is he correct in his expectation? We’re happy to do minor weeding, and in fact I’ve killed the majority of them, but our neighbors have supposedly complained about the ivy encroachment, and that seems like a tall order for tenants–we don’t own any major gardening tools and don’t want to invest in any since we are renting.

We’ve also had complaints from our neighbors about the state of the outside of our house–it clearly needs a new paint job. What are the owner’s responsibilities in this realm? Does he have to paint it?
Basically, our house is really old, and we’re the first tenants to actually care about the living situation we’re paying for. Giant pieces of paint fall off when we open the windows, the windows don’t have any screens, two of the window panes have big cracks in them, we don’t have a doorbell. Does anyone know the minimum the owner should be responsible for fixing?

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