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I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
Replacing a dead battery is not considered routine maintenance. You wouldn't be responsible for replacing it unless you did something that caused it to die, and it doesn't sound like that's the case at all. The landlord is in breach of the lease. You have the ability to sue in Small Claims Court to get the $76, plus reimbursement of your filing fees. Note that this is NOT the type of breach that would allow a tenant to withhold rent, because the lawn mower battery doesn't provide a material risk to your health and safety. But you can require the landlord to reimburse you for the cost. A landlord cannot evict a tenant in retaliation for exercising his rights under the law.
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