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Who Is Responsible for Tree Removal & Trimming: Landlord or Tenant?

System - Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Who Is Responsible for Tree Removal & Trimming: Landlord or Tenant?

As a landlord, the rental property is your responsibility. You should be fully aware of the condition of everything in and on the property. While everyone knows this is important for the interior and functionality of the property, it also means you are responsible for the exterior of the property. 

Often, landlords are so focused on the interior condition of the house that they overlook necessary upkeep on the outside. Tree trimming and removal are essential for the maintenance of a rental property. While they have many aesthetic advantages for the appearance of the house, regular tree trimming can be vital for the protection of the house.

Who is Responsible: Landlord or Tenant?

More often than not, the lease for a rental property does not outline who is responsible for tree trimming and maintenance of a rental property. Because of this, it generally falls under the responsibility of the landlord. Additionally, even if there is language in the lease, or a landscaping addendum to the lease, regarding tree trimming, you need to be clear on what that entails. 

The property owner is often responsible for tree trimming and removal, considering there are more than just visual advantages to a well-kept tree. Rarely is the tenant found accountable for the tree trimming.

In most cases, you do not want the tenant responsible for the tree trimming, and you do not want them to go about cutting branches at their discretion. As the landlord, it is essential to be responsible for the trees on the property. This is for the safety of your tenants and the maintenance of your rental property.

Tree Trimming and Removal as Preventative Maintenance

removal and maintenance of trees

Although tree trimming and removal may be looked at as something for the appearance of the rental property, it should be viewed as maintenance. Tree trimming can be done as a preventative measure to avoid damages to the roof, windows, overhead power, or other structures on the property. Additionally, regular trimming or pruning of trees can keep the tree healthy and growing in the direction you prefer.

Reduce Wear and Tear on HVAC Systems

Properly pruned trees can help shade the home and reduce high energy consumption. The over-usage of the HVAC system in your rental property can add additional wear and tear to the system. Three trimming can reduce the number of service calls on your air conditioning unit because it is not working hard to cool the home during the summer months.

Reduce Pest Infestations

On the other hand, regular tree trimming can prevent the risks of pests and reduce their ability to access your rental property. This can hinder any severe pest infestations and the costs associated with it. Low hanging branches near your property allow pests to enter the home and make it easier for an infestation to develop. Some pests, like termites, cause structural damage, and this can be difficult to repair.

Reduce Damages to the Property

Trees that aren’t properly maintained can pose a threat to your rental property and your tenants. If there are dead or overgrown branches and a storm with high winds comes along, they can cause structural damage, roof damage, and damage to windows. Additionally, they can be dangerous to the tenants living there if they are harmed by debris from trees that are left unkept. 

overgrown trees can cause damage

Trees can also cause damage from underneath. If a tree is near the property, and it begins to grow beyond what was intended, the root system can be damaging to the foundation of the property. This is when a tree removal might be necessary. Removing a tree can be helpful as preventative maintenance for both the rental property and the yard.

Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

Proper tree trimming is essential when it comes to having your home ready for a hurricane or even less powerful tropical storms. Weak or loose branches can be broken off easily and sent into windows, doors or even through siding causing significant damage homes. Branches that have grown over or near power lines are at risk of causing power outages or even fires. Having a professional tree trimming company assess trees on your property is highly recommended. 

Be Proactive About Tree Trimming and Removal

Since the responsibility of tree trimming and removal falls on the landlord, it is essential to be proactive. You want to make sure that the trees are regularly maintained and handled by a certified arborist. This can reduce any safety issues or the need for costly repairs. If you are proactive about tree trimming, it can keep the cost low and avoid serious expenses associated with it over time.

Keeping any trees maintained can reduce the costs of property maintenance over time and ensure a visually appealing property.