As anticipated, I got a call from the handyman that the landlord uses.
Interestingly, DS alerted me this afternoon that "there is a man outside." Sure enough, the handyman had come over unannounced, to look over the deck, which I reported had more rotten boards that should be replaced. Handyman had replaced some prior to my moving in. I met him outside, he stated that he couldn't find the boards in question. I pointed them out, he agreed that they need replacement. He also is working up a quote to repaint the house and garage, something that the LL is aware of since last Summer. Bad weather stopped any work getting done. Fine.
More importantly, as regards yard care: LL agreed to pay handyman for 4 hours of his labor to clean up the yard. Specifically, lawn clean up (he noted that there wasn't much, it was obvious that someone (that was college boy) had done a good Fall clean up), removal of the hanging widow makers, removal of vines growing in trees, cutting back of some brush, mulching at least in front of the house all as a means of sprucing up the place. He won't be moving the piles of brush he put in the yard last Summer. (I may have DS move them to the woods). He pointed out an area where the plow guy piled up snow, and moved some lawn in the process. Handyman straightened it up, moved the sod and commented that he'll have to tell LL about this, and it'll cost her more. I hope that the LL doesn't throw that cost back at me, as I was planning on having DS fix it this weekend. Understand that this lawn isn't all that nice, groomed, nor has anything beyond a cutting happened to it for YEARS. Case in point: a pipe burst from the well last Summer, they had a backhoe out to fix it. Repair done, a large area of dirt and rocks left, not at all smoothed out or raked, never mind seeding it with grass.
So far, LL has been pretty reasonable. If she does squawk about the plow damaging the edge of the lawn near the driveway, I can offer that I paid college boy and friends to do the leaf clean up last Fall-and a good job was done at that. I've already invested more in leaf cleanup costs than fixing a small patch of lawn she may be charged for.
HM did comment that tenants usually are responsible for yard care. I told him that the lease stipulates that I am responsible for mowing and snow removal and I've taken care of that and also, on my own, took care of leaf clean up. (insert polite smile)
I just want to keep the place looking nice. He put in about 1 1/2 hours this afternoon working on the place, using a backpack blower and raking. More to follow. I anticipate starting cutting by the end of the month.