Who is responsible for taking out the garbage on a weekly basis, the tenant or the landlord?

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Who is responsible for taking out the garbage on a weekly basis, the tenant or the landlord?

I have a house but live 1 hour away. I gave my tenants the schedule as to when to take out the garbage, but they allowed the garbage to accumulate for several weeks. They are in the process of being evicted, and now they are threatening to sue me for not taking out their garbage. Do they have a case?

Asked on March 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

They almost certainly do NOT have a case. While it would be better if the lease specified exactly who is responsible--make that change in future leases--taking garbage out from a residence is almost invariably the tenant's responsibility. If there was a common dumpster or collection point--for example, for the garbage from the units in a multi-family dwelling--it would be the landlord's responsibility to remove it or arrange for its removal, but not to take the garbage from the individual units to common collection point. In a single family home, it would normally be the tenant's responsibility to deal with their own residential garbage (especially when you've given them a schedule, which shows that you expected them to do it, and they did not *immediately* try to contest matters--e..g when you provided the schedule--claiming that their understanding when they leased was that you'd do the gargabe). You would be responsible for garbage you or your contractors generated, such as construction debris from renovation.

The above said, all lawsuits need to be taken seriously. If sued, retain a lawyer to defend yourself and also explore any possible countersuits (for damage; for unusual cleaning that's required from their filthy habits or for pest removal from same) that you may have.


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