Is the landlord responsible for cleaning out the gutters?

Our basement flooded recently due to backed up gutters, and the owner of the house in a fit of rage blamed us (the tenants) for not having them cleaned out – saying it was our responsibility as it is part of landscaping maintenance. She is refusing to put carpet back down and wants to put an addendum in the lease saying any water damage caused by lack of leaf or outside maintenance will be our responsibility. I think she is trying to escape her responsibilities, but I need to find out for sure.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are responsible for cleaning the gutters of the rental that you have would be determined from a careful review of your written lease in that it controls the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa absent conflicting state law with respect to your lease.

If there is no mention as to whose responsibility it is to clean the home's gutters, then it is the landlord's responsibility. If the lease says it is the tenant's obligation to clear the leaves, then it is yours. If it states that it is the landlord's, then it is his or hers.

Custom and practice in the rental of units is that the landlord takes care of the rental's maintenance.


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