Get tenants to mow the lawn or shovel the snow?

Hey everyone,

Just wondering if anyone has their tenants mow the lawn or shovel the snow? I was wondering if it might be worthwhile to cut a deal with the tenant for them to save 50 bucks or 100 bucks a month on their rent if they mow the lawn themselves or shovel the snow.


This question might depend on location but in my (Maryland) experience, a long-term tenant is responsible for the yard/snow while they live there.

Of course this is different for an apartment complex/multi-unit.

I guess the bottom line is, what does your lease say?


Just make sure you write into your lease the limitations on liability. You don’t want someone mowing your lawn chopping their foot off with the mower. You have to have a bulletproof lease to protect yourself so consult an attorney.

Any deal to

Those types of limitations are not enforceable if there is some kind of payment or rent discount. The property owner is liable for any injuries and could be whacked for employment taxes and workmen’s comp insurance. Safest way is to hire a service and raise the rent to cover it.

There are also local ordinances to consider. In my area, the property owner is responsible for snow removal for anything other than a SFH.

We don’t have that snow stuff down here, but my lease requires the tenant to manitain the yard.

B. Yard Maintenance:
(1) “Yard” means all lawns, shrubbery, bushes, flowers, gardens, trees, rock or other landscaping, and other foliage on or encroaching on the Property or on any easement appurtenant to the Property, and does not include common areas maintained by an owner’s association.
(2) “Maintain the yard” means to perform activities such as, but not limited to: (a) mowing, fertilizing, and trimming the yard; (b) controlling pests in the yard; and (c) removing debris from the yard.
(3) Tenant will water the yard at reasonable and appropriate times including but not limited to the following times:____________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Other than watering, the yard will be monitoring as follows:
(a) Tenant, at Tenant’s expense, will maintain the yard.
(b) Tenant will maintain in effect a scheduled yard maintenance contract with: a contractor who regularly provides such services; ________________________

Thanks all for your replies. I was concerned about the liability issue as well.
What does a typical landscaping company in North Jersey charge monthly?


Anybody can sue anybody for anything, but the liability actually comes in if they are acting as your agent. giving then concession on the rent or paying them means they are acting as your agent and opens you up to be sued. If you don’t compensate them then if they get hurt doing it it is like they got hurt washing their dishes. You have no dog in that fight. Unless it is multifamily.