Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

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Latest post 08-24-2012 5:26 PM by adjuster jack. 8 replies.
  • 08-24-2012 9:36 AM

    • SUESK
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 08-22-2012
    • FL
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    Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    If the tenant is required to maintain the Lawn and Shrubbery in a rental agreement for a house, how far does this go?

    The Shrub in question is approximately 15 foot tall and was already overgrown when I got here. I have been there 6 months ( Since Feb 15th ), no way could this bush have grown 1 1/2 feet in that period of time. I don't have a ladder to get up on the roof to trim the bush.

    An Insurance Wind mitigation company came out and mentioned to the owner that the shrub is an insurance issue as it’s about to touch the soffit of the house. 

    Whose responsiblity is it to trim the bush?? Landlord or tenant??

  • 08-24-2012 10:06 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
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    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    Read the lease---in many a single home rental around me the LL's try to put the tenants in it as responsible for "everything" --just as a homeowner might be responible to address---depends on what is in your lease---and I mean down to replacing a roof or cleaning up after a flood---



  • 08-24-2012 10:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    SUESK:

    Whose responsiblity is it to trim the bush?? Landlord or tenant??

    Probably the tenant who agreed to the provision upon signing the lease.

    But please provide the exact wording of that provision of the lease for additional comment.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 08-24-2012 1:21 PM In reply to

    • SUESK
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    • Joined on 08-22-2012
    • FL
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    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    Specifically it says:

    Maintenance Landlord shall be responsible for compliance with Section 83.51, Florida Statutes, and shall be responsible for maintenance and repair of the Premises, unless otherwise state below: (Fill in each blank space with "Landlord" for Landlord or "Tenant" for Tenant, if left blank, Landlord will be responsible for the item):

    T  lawn/shrubbery

     

     

     

  • 08-24-2012 1:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    SUESK:

    Specifically it says:

    Maintenance Landlord shall be responsible for compliance with Section 83.51, Florida Statutes, and shall be responsible for maintenance and repair of the Premises, unless otherwise state below: (Fill in each blank space with "Landlord" for Landlord or "Tenant" for Tenant, if left blank, Landlord will be responsible for the item):

    T  lawn/shrubbery

    From Wikipedia:

    • "A shrub is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 6 m (20 ft) tall."
    • "In botany and ecology a shrub is more specifically used to describe the particular physical structural or plant life-form of woody plants which are less than 8 metres (26 ft) high and usually have many stems arising at or near the base."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrub

    It appears that even a 15' tall plant could qualify as a shrub.

    That link has a list of shrubs by name. When you click on the name it brings up a link with a photo and information. Identify yours to make sure it qualifies as a shrub. Keep in mind that the list might not be all-inclusive. Oleanders aren't on it and oleanders are certainly shrubbery even though they can grow to 15' or more.

    If it's a shrub, it's yours to trim.

    And you'll either have to buy a ladder or hire somebody to trim it.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 08-24-2012 2:05 PM In reply to

    • SUESK
      Consumer
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    • FL
    • Posts 4

    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    Merriam-Webster definition:

    : a low usually several-stemmed woody plant

    TheFreeDictionary by Farlex
    A woody plant of relatively low height, having several stems arising from the base and lacking a single trunk; a bush.

    About.com

    What is the Difference Between Shrubs and Bushes?

    As far as horticulture is concerned, there is no exact definition of when a plant is a shrub or a bush. A good general description of a shrub is a "woody plant with several perennial stems that may be erect or may lay close to the ground. It will usually have a height less than 13 feet and stems no more than about three inches in diameter."

    I don't think that there is total agreement of what a tree is versus a bush.

    If I were the owner, I would not want to have someone climbing that high. I would cut it down and pur something in that was of easily maintainable height.

  • 08-24-2012 3:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    SUESK:

    I don't think that there is total agreement of what a tree is versus a bush.

    True. But that's what lawsuits are made of. Or, losing your security deposit if the LL has it done and expects you to pay for it.

    SUESK:

    If I were the owner, I would not want to have someone climbing that high. I would cut it down and pur something in that was of easily maintainable height.

    But you aren't the owner and he put that in the lease so he wouldn't have to do it or pay for it.

    And you, unfortunately, signed the lease without addressing the issue which, in contract law, means you accepted the conditions as is.

    You are free to argue that a 15' tall plant is not shrubbery and see how far that gets you with the landlord.

    My guess is not very.

    I mentioned oleanders earlier. Here's a link to a description and a photo that pretty much matches the oleander growth that bordered one of my old rentals where the tenant was responsible for keeping them trimmed.

    http://www.choateirrigationusa.com/oleander.aspx

    Note that they can grow 20' high and are still categorized as shrubs.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 08-24-2012 5:05 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 10-08-2001
    • TX
    • Posts 7,391

    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    SUESK:
    I don't have a ladder to get up on the roof to trim the bush.

    Make a concerted effort to NOT over think this issue.  Get yourself a saw and some trimmers and cut the shrub/tree/bush or whatever at the level that you can reach while standing on the ground.  You will find that the shrub or whatever is nowhere near the soffit and has been trimmed/maintained.  If you're feeling especially artistic, trim it and shape it.  Other benefits of this course of action are you are now in compliance with your lease and you didn't have to climb a ladder risking possible injury or death by shrub maintenance.

    KISS theory.

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 08-24-2012 5:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Florida- Lawn and Shrubbery Agreement Question

    DPH is right. Keep it simple.

    All you need is one of these for $15 and your problem is solved.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/tree-pruner-9712.html

    And if you want to get fancy, there's this for $85.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/15-hp-electric-pole-saw-68862.html

     

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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