The grass grows and snow falls on rental property just like owner-occupied property. However, unlike owner-occupied property, there may be a question of who is responsible for mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, or performing other maintenance on rental property. The tenant is residing on the property and has the use and enjoyment of the lawn, sidewalks, and driveway, so it may seem logical and fair that the tenant be responsible for maintaining these areas.
However, in Minnesota the tenant is only responsible for specified repairs or maintenance if the landlord and tenant agree in a conspicuous writing, and the agreement is supported by adequate consideration. If the agreement is not in the written lease, it will likely be the landlord’s responsibility to perform maintenance and repairs on the property.
It is important for landlords to understand the terms of the lease and make sure maintenance responsibilities are property spelled out in the lease to avoid any conflict with a tenant down the road.