It's the Renter's Responsibility Just like mowing lawns and trimming hedges, part of regular maintenance involves cleaning gutters. And now, let's get back to our main topic. Although tenants have a responsibility to keep the rented property in good condition, take care of the garden, and address minor repair issues, cleaning and maintaining gutters is often a landlord's obligation. You see, the landlord is responsible for keeping your investment in rental condition and when gutters suffer normal wear and tear problems, it is NOT the tenant's job to remedy them at their cost.
If your lease has provisions that specify that the tenant is responsible for “exterior maintenance” and “landscaping,” then gutter cleaning could be on your to-do list. To avoid any misinterpretation, liability with respect to gutter cleaning should be defined in the lease agreement. Keep calm and allow them to arrange a professional gutter inspection and cleaning service, during which the cause of the problem can be easily determined. I have no qualms about paying someone to clean the gutters and clean the debris out of them, as this maintenance protects my property.
However, if you have specific tree species in your garden near the house that shed flowers and leaves during the summer, inspecting and cleaning your gutters then and later in the colder months will save you from worrying about both fire hazards and water damage to the property. There is no “standard lease” and while there are laws governing property leases, these laws don't necessarily prevent the landlord from trying to hold you responsible for cleaning gutters. We recently had a tenant move to a new single-family property, and she asked if she or we took care of the gutter cleaning. How often gutters and downspouts are cleaned depends on the location of the property and its surroundings.
It is too easy to forget or postpone the provision for routine gutter and downspout inspection and cleaning. As a landlord, I fully agree with you Kaylee, that it is the owner's responsibility to clean the gutters. It's also a smart financial option, as the system will pay for itself, as it can skip gutter cleaning sessions (and can avoid costly liability issues). If you notice your gutters starting to leak or overflow, it's a sign that they need cleaning (or professional inspection).
Otherwise, the general rule is that gutter cleaning should be done once every 12 months, better - in late autumn, when nearby trees have already lost their leaves.
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