In my lease it states that my landlord is responsible for mowing my lawn and she hasn’t been, what can I do?

I was late 2 months ago (5 days) and at the time I mentioned it hadn’t been cut in a couple of weeks. But she stated that it was because the rent was late. The rent was paid within a few days of that conversation. Since then the rent is on schedule yet she still has not cut my lawn. I have had to hire someone twice now to take care of this. She is not returning my calls or answering them now. Can I legally withhold the fee I am paying someone else to do this from my rent?

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally, Judge's hate when tenants try and "self-help" themselves by doing such things as withholding rent until things are fixed or done pursuant to the lease.  But under some circumstances they do allow you to fix or repair problems for which prior requests have been ignored.  This means deducting the money paid out from the rent.  You can go down to landlord tenant court and start an action and ask to deposit the rent in to the court until the matter is resolved.  Send her a letter by certified mail including the bil for the lawn and indicating that pursuant to your lease this was her obligation.  That you have requested that she take care of the obligation and she has ignored your requests.  That you have paid for the service and are deducting it out of your rent. Good luck.


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