What is standard of care for lawn maintenance by tenant on a single family home?
Our executed Standard Washington rental contract
says " Maintenance: Tenant will at all times maintain the property, including any yard and lawns, in a neat and clean condition and upon termination of this agreement will leave the property in as good condition as it is now, reasonable wear and tear excepted."
Our move out date was April 19, 2013, but without notice in February and March, landlord sent gardeners to cut down about 6 trees, chip tree branches for removal, power wash house, clean gutters, cut back Ivy which grows on house and radically trim shrubs and do general yard clean up. He claims bill was $4,200 and our share was $2,000 which he deducted from our $5,000 security deposit and gave us $3,000 on 4/19 without an accounting of the deductions. He claims he paid cash to the gardener and doesn't get receipts. After a request for itemization over a week ago, we still have no accounting.
The home and yard were in good shape when we took occupancy on Jan 5, 2011. In April of 2011, the home won an award for "yard of the week" and was featured in the local paper. Obviously we kept it up from January to April.
We had no choice in the matter prior to leaving and feel that the deductions are both not warranted and not legal.