Dead landscaping to cost landlord thousands

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Q: I am a landlord with one rental house. I have a problem with damage done to the landscaping by the tenants who recently moved out. The rental contract states, "The tenants agree to care for and adequately water the lawn, shrubbery and trees." I have always paid the water bill and there was no noticeable change in the monthly amount so I was very disappointed when I met them for their move-out inspection to find they let the trees, shrubbery and grass die. This damage will amount to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in repairs before I can rent out the house again. Can the security deposit be applied to the damage done to the yard? A: Based on the language you included in the rental agreement, I believe you have grounds for making reasonable deductions against the tenant's security deposit as they clearly breached the terms by allowing the landscaping to die. Of course, determining what is proper maintenance for landscaping can be very subjective and you n...