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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27692
Experience:  Attorney
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I am a tenant. My Landlord provided a riding lawnmower in

Customer Question

Hi, I am a tenant. My Landlord provided a riding lawnmower in the lease as the yard is huge. However, it is not in the best condition, but it gets the job done eventually. The previous tenants have used it for 3 years and the Landlord before them. It is about 8 -10 years old. Anyway, in the lease, it states that we are responsible for regular maintenance. We just had to replace the battery this past Friday ($76) and we only began renting on July 1st. The Landlord refuses to pay and states that it is our responsibility. Is this true? Is replacing the battery considered regular maintenance? ie.. the exact verbiage:
"Landlord agrees that tenant can use the below items for maintenance of the property and miscellaneous items for comfort. Tenant is responsible for regular maintenance and maintaining proper fluids such as engine oil for craftsman tractor. If tenant neglects to maintain proper engine oil and proper fluids in the craftsman tractor and lawnmower, tenant is responsible to repair or replace like items at current market rate due to negligence."
(1) Craftsman Lawn Tractor Briggs and Stratton 21.0 HP, 46” Mower Electric Start 6 Speed
Transaxle, Model No.###-##-####with Aerator
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

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.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

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