Renter's Responsibility Like mowing lawns and trimming hedges, part of regular maintenance involves cleaning gutters. While gutters are certainly part of the roof and therefore part of the structure's drainage system, some homeowners consider cleaning the gutters to be the responsibility of the tenant, in the same category as changing light bulbs or sweeping the sidewalk. If gutter cleaning is not specifically described in the agreement, the tenant can ask for clarification of the problem and reach an agreement that is acceptable to both the landlord and the tenant. 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 from normal wear and tear problems, it is NOT the tenant's job to remedy them at their cost. The lease must stipulate who is responsible for cleaning the gutters. When gutter cleaning is not mentioned in the lease, the landlord is usually responsible.
Since gutter cleaning requires climbing to the roof (liability) and is part of the overall structure (not the tenant's conduct), most lawyers would place the liability on the landlord. If a lease does stipulate that the tenant is responsible, it must also require the tenant to hire a professional gutter cleaner with the correct license and insurance. It's definitely a gray area, and many tenants aren't aware of what's expected of them when it comes to cleaning gutters. 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.
And to confirm the above, the RTA (the Residential Leasing Authority) clearly stipulates who is actually responsible for cleaning gutters in a rental property, as well as some exceptions to the rule. Paying a tenant's medical bills and lost wages will cost you much more than paying to have gutters cleaned professionally every two years. It is too easy to forget or postpone the provision for a routine check and cleaning of gutters and downspouts. Therefore, regular gutter cleaning ensures that fallen leaves and twigs, tree flowers, and sometimes insect, rodent and bird nests and debris, are removed in time and long before major blockages occur.
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. While cleaning gutters is a very simple process, it's one of those things that will take you an entire afternoon if you don't know what you're doing. That's why it's important that the determination of who should clean the gutters be made before both parties sign a lease. Any required cleaning that requires specialized equipment, such as steam cleaning carpets or bathrooms due to lack of care or intentional damage, can be taken from the rental deposit or security deposit.
On the other hand, many property managers believe that unless the structure is a multi-unit complex (such as a duplex or apartment building), people living in the home should keep gutters clean. You may be able to negotiate some terms that are good for you, such as cleaning the gutters to reduce that month's rent. If you tell the landlord it's time to clean the gutters and he refuses to do so, you may need to see what state law says about tenant and landlord responsibilities. .