Yesterday's storms came roaring through, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, fallen branches, and debris all over yards across West Michigan. You didn't have to travel far to see some of the damage left behind in Muskegon and Grand Rapids yesterday.

As a renter, I thankfully was (mostly) unaffected by the storm's damage but I did have a few rather large branches fall around my property. So I started to wonder, like many others in the area: who is responsible for the cleanup of trees and limbs on rental properties?


The answer feels pretty obvious if you live in a duplex, apartment or other community living situation. But, if you're renting a home, is it your landlord's responsibility to come clean up those twigs and branches after they fall?

Michigan doesn't specifically have a law that requires landlords to care for branches or trees that fall due to an "act of god" such as a storm. Instead, you should take a look at your lease.

Read More: How High Can Your Landlord Raise Your Rent in Michigan?

If your lease states that you are in charge of maintaining the property, including the yard and trees- then it's likely on you to make sure those branches are removed and disposed of properly. However, if there is damage to the property due to a branch falling, you may want to contact them so they can hire a professional to remove it properly. However, if a lawn service takes care of your yard as a part of your lease, they should also be expected to clean up your yard as well.

If you're unsure what to do, you can always contact your landlord or check your lease to see if is specifically mentioned. But unlike a plumbing or electrical emergency, you should never assume that picking up your yard is covered just because you're renting.

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Gallery Credit: James Rabe

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