Lawn Maintenance and the Tenant’s Responsibilities (Ontario)

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I leased a detached home recently. The Landlord put a couple sentences in one of the schedules about the Tenant cutting the grass and shoveling the snow.

I now discover that this is contrary to the provisions of Ontario’s new standard Lease Form.


If the Tenant is going to cut the lawn, this has to be handled outside of the Lease by separate agreement. There should not be a clause in the Lease saying that it’s the Tenant’s responsibility. That clause would be unenforceable under the Residential Tenancies Act.

So, the Landlord is now looking for someone to cut the lawn for $50 per week. Maybe the Tenant offers or one of the teenagers in the house could use some extra cash? That arrangement is fine.

By the way, Municipalities really didn’t like Owners saying that upkeep was the Tenant’s responsibility.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

Comments 3

  1. After 17 years of cutting grass and snow removal, I am 77 years old and have severe back problems cutting the grass and shoveling snow has become an almost impossible function. I sent a letter to the Trustees of the Church who oversee this property. (Palermo United Church Oakville Ont). Mr Ross Rennolds who is the head trustee said that the responsibilities were with tenants for lawn maintenance and snow removal. As I have never signed any agreement for such. Mr Rennolds said that if I did not cut the grass and remove the snow I could be evicted. I would appreciate a formal letter that addresses who is responsible for those functions.

    1. Post

      The Residential Tenancies Act requires the Landlord to cut the grass and shovel the snow. This cannot be changed in the Lease. That would be illegal.

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