Should I Approach Landlord or Leave It Alone

Updated on December 04, 2015
K.H. asks from San Jose, CA
21 answers

6 weeks ago we moved into a rental house and a Gardner was included in the rent. Our landlord has the same Gardner for her house. He hasn't been here since we moved in. I'm a stay at home mom so I know for sure that he hasn't been to the house. I'm hesitant to say anything and I'm not sure if I should. I have a feeling my landlord is paying for the service and their just not showing up.
It's a nicer neighborhood and the reason gardening is included in the rent is because you can get fined if the grass gets too high. But it's also winter so it's probably not going to grow much. (It doesn't snow here) but it's a little chilly.
I don't want it to seem like I'm telling on anybody if that makes sense. Should I leave it alone or if not what's the right thing to say?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the answers. She told us before we moved in their supposed to come every Friday. I'm just not sure what to say to her.

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

"Hi XXXX, I was wondering if you could let me know when to expect the gardener, I haven't seen him yet and was wanting him to XXXXXX".

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I would let her know that they haven't been coming. I am a landlord and would be upset to be paying for something that is not being done.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Boston on

I think any landlord would see this as responsible renter behavior and protecting the landlord's investment. Don't approach it at "telling on someone" but rather as wondering what to expect. Ask if the gardener takes the winter off or if there is work that needs to be done all year round. Mention that you haven't seen anyone at all. If it's up to you to suggest tasks for him to do, mention what you want done. If it isn't, but you can see a need, you can add, "I'm not sure what his duties are, but you might want to mention or at least take a look at XYZ which could use some attention."

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I would say something to the landlord, but not in the same way as reporting something negative. I'd simply ask something like "I was just curious about the gardener. Is he scheduled to come at specific periods, or just on an 'as needed' basis?"

If he tells you the gardener is supposed to show up every other Tuesday and perform certain tasks, then speak up and say that he hasn't been there. If the landlord says the gardener just drives by to observe and will stop and take care of things when they need it, then that sounds like it's going ok.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

The correct approach would be to contact your landlord and simply ask what day(s)/week of the month to expect the landscaper/gardener. IF they say they should be coming every month on X day of the week, then you can let them know that as far as you are aware, they weren't out at that time. But it may be that they come less frequently in the fall/winter months. And it may be scheduled/expected to be that way. So don't go in with guns blazing over something that you don't even know what the "rules" are on...
ASK. Then, if there is an issue, inform. Kindly and out of concern. Not in a tattle tale way, or angry that you aren't getting what's included in your rent. Just informative, to see if there is anything you aren't aware of or whatever.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'd probably call the landlord and inquire if there's a schedule for the gardner or if they just show up from time to time. That way you'll find out what the arrangement is and if the service is suppose to show up on a schedule you can let the landlord know that it isn't happening. Its her property and she's paying for a service so if it isn't happening like she thinks then she needs to know.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Does the grass need to be cut? I am in Pennsylvania. We hire a company to cut our lawn but they charge by the cut and stop coming near the end of October since the grass stops growing.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Do call. In fact, not 'telling' could end up having financial consequences for you. If the landlord is fined because this went on for too long, you may be liable for paying the fines and any additional costs to bring the yard back up to par.

"Ms. Landlord, did you say the gardener is supposed to come every Friday?"
"He hasn't been here for the past six Fridays, so I thought you should know."

Besides, if a gardener is "included in the rent" it means that you're actually paying for the service indirectly. YOU are being cheated, because you rent would be lower without the gardening service.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My mom owns rental property and I ran this question by her. She said, first of all, as a landlord herself, she would want to know if this was happening. She wants to know if there re problems of any kind with the people she hires to take care of her rental properties. If they aren't doing what they are supposed to do, the workers get fired and she finds new people.

Second, she says that good communication between landlord and tenant is critical. If the landlord doesn't know something is wrong, or if the tenant is confused about services provided in rent, then problems can arise. My mom doesn't consider it "telling on" someone when a tenant calls and asks for clarification. If someone isn't providing promised services, she wants to know about it immediately.

Don't hesitate to call your landlord and ask questions so you know what schedule the gardener is on. It's possible your landlord or gardener doesn't realize your lawn needs attention. Here in the Settle area, lawns still need a bit of attention, but not mowing every week. It's possible that your lawn needs more.

Your landlord can fix what is broken if you don't talk to them. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

So you know for sure he's supposed to come every Friday and yet he hasn't shown. I used to run into this at work a lot - I was asked to keep an eye on the whole division, even if they didn't report to me, just because I was there most often and knew everyone. I would bring things up in such a way as "Just wanted to ask about the gardener ... did you say he's to come every 6 weeks?" and that leaves them to say "Well, yes - they are to come by Fridays". Then you leave a pause .. and they will say "Why? Are they not showing up?" then you say "Well, as a matter of fact, no ... not yet. I don't have a problem, but thought you might be concerned ... " or "I don't have a problem as grass looks fine, but wondered if the arrangement had changed and if I should be aware as a tenant ..." or something.

Not sure if that helps you. You aren't tattle telling exactly so much as bringing up the topic in kind of a vague way. Then you answer honestly when THEY ask you why you are bringing it up.

Good luck :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Ask if a gardener is included in the rent and if it is, then tell the landlord that the gardener hasn't been showing up.

If someone is getting paid for a job they aren't doing, you should definitely "tell" on him/her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

of course you should say something. it doesn't need to sound naggy or whiny or complainy, but if this is part of your lease, why not speak up? i mean, you would if it were an appliance or a leaky roof, right?
'good morning, landlord, just wanted to give you a heads-up that we haven't seen the gardener since we moved in. is it a seasonal service, or should we be concerned?'

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Of course you tell the landlord. This is a service that is included in your rent. I don't understand why you would be concerned about telling the landlord. "Ms. Landlord, I wanted to let you know that the yard guy hasn't been here since we moved in. Can you please address this with him? Thanks!"

That's what I would say.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you were paying someone to mow your lawn and they didn't show up, would you consider it "telling on" someone if your neighbor let you know that you were being cheated?

They need to know. Perhaps she has shifted it to once a month due to the winter - so perhaps ask her that way. She needs to know in case she IS being cheated. Just let her know - "Dear Landlord, regarding the weekly lawn care, has the schedule been adjusted for the winter? I haven't seen the gardener for the last few weeks. What do you expect will be the next lawn care day?"

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

This isn't a tattle-telling thing. You are paying rent to someone. Why would you worry about telling on somebody? This isn't junior high school.

The landlord is PAYING this person to do a job that he isn't doing. This is what you say when you call the landlord:

Mrs. So-and-so, I'm calling because I'm concerned about the gardner not showing up since we moved in. It's part of our contract and you told me he was coming every Friday. I know that you don't want to pay someone for a job when he isn't doing it, so I'm letting you know. Could you talk to him and get him to come out here this coming Friday and start his weekly work? Thanks so much.

Now that's not so hard.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Yes, definitely bring it to your landlord's attention. You can easily do that without sounding like a "tattle-tale". Just say "I wanted to double check the gardening schedule with you...I hadn't seen him come by yet, so I thought maybe the schedule was different in winter. Is that the case?" And let the landlord take it from there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

We have a lawn business that mows our lawn and edges every other week. They only come in the spring/summer/early fall when grass is growing. They take the winter off. I think their last time to come is about the 2nd week of October. You can pay extra for leaf raking but we do that ourselves. Perhaps your landlord's gardener has the same policy? I would definitely ask the landlord when to expect the gardener.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

You should say something. He may think that he is not needed and your landlord will want to know if she's paying the gardener and he's not showing up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It could be that the gardener only has to come as-needed, and not on a schedule. If the grass isn't growing, then the gardener isn't needed. If there is something you think should be done (eg, the grass is getting high or there are weeds in planting beds), then you could call the landlord and express concern about that. But I don't think there is a reason to call to complain if everything looks fine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would casually say, "Can you clarify what the gardener does? I'd like to know if, for example, the gardener will shovel when it snows, just to be sure what to expect." If she said before he's supposed to come every Friday, you might mention, "By the way, I haven't noticed the gardener. You said he comes on Fridays? Should we have seen him or is this his off season?" There are a lot of ways to bring it up and frankly if he's not doing his job, the landlord needs to know you/she's paying for services not rendered.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

i like diane b's response... where is the copy button?

1 mom found this helpful
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