Home‎ > ‎


Who is responsible for what

We moved into a duplex over the winter...now the landlord says we have to buy a lawn mower and mow the lawn. What gives?

The Ohio Landlord Tenant Law distinguishes between dwelling unit (the portion of the property that is occupied by the tenant 'to the exclusion of others' and the common areas which are shared by other tenants.  The question you are asking is:  the lawn under your exclusive control (like you bedroom) or a common area (like a shared garage).  If the lawn is under your exclusive control, then maintaining the law is your duty [Ohio Revised Code 5321.05 (A) (1)] and if the yard is shared with the other tenant in the property, then maintenance is a landlord duty under ORC 5321.04 (A) (3)
Sometimes it's hard to know if a portion of the residential premises is under your exclusive control.  Look to the lease for guidance.  If not in the lease, then how does it work in practice?
Sometimes a landlord will agree that mowing the lawn is a landlord duty but wants you to take on that responsibility.  Ohio Landlord Tenant Law says that landlord cannot compel you to take on his duty...but leaves open the question of whether you can be paid to do his duty.  However if you agree to carry out his duty, have a written agreement as to the terms of that agreement...separate from the lease.
 The basics
Landlord Duties
Tenant Duties
What's undefined?
  • Rental premises vs. common area
  • Landlord takes on a tenant duty
  • Landlord may not assign a duty to a tenant

Subpages (1): Tenant duties