Not sure if this is more of an etiquette or a legal question but...

Suppose that a landlord advertised a rental property in 2020 and mentioned in the ads that it was secured by an ADT security system. The tenants recently renewed for another 12 month lease and have been very happy. Through offhanded discussions with them, the landlord learned that they effectively do not utilize the security system. The inclusion of such system is not explicit (or implicit) anywhere in the lease.

Is the landlord within their legal rights to inquire about whether they use it, so that they may turn it off and stop paying for it if not? Is this rude?

  • @Azor Ahai The use of hypothetical language and placeholder designations such as "L" and "T" is one of the ways that we distinguish between requests for information and requests for specific legal advice. Please do not remove it unless you are the asker of the question, in which case removing it may lead to the question begin closed.. Oct 28, 2021 at 16:33
  • @DavidSiegel I see your point about hypothetical language - sorry. I don't see any other questions that refer to people with abbreviations like "L" and "T." "T" was not even used again. Oct 28, 2021 at 16:45
  • @Azor Ahai -him- I have started a meta discussion on this at: law.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1363/… There you will find linked a few of the many questions that use such "placeholder" designations for involved parties, and a place to give your views on the use of such designations. Oct 28, 2021 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


There is certainly no legal problem in asking if the tenants would be agreeable with the landlord discontinuing the security service. Even if it were in the lease, a lease like pretty much any contract can be changed by mutual agreement of all parties (unless there is a law preventing such a change, which is rare and I do not think will apply in this case).

A more difficult question would be if the landlord would be within his or her rights to discontinue the service without asking the tenants first, since it is not in the lease. Since the property was advertised as coming with the service, it might be held that the continued service was reasonably expected by the tenants, and thus an implicit term of the lease. But since the landlord does not plan to take such unilateral action, that remains a purely theoretical issue.

The landlord could offer the tenants a small rent reduction, perhaps one quarter of the amout that was being paid to the security firm, but there is no legal requirement to do so.

As to whether asking for such a change would be "rude", I don't think so, but that is a matter of opinion, and not really on-topic here.

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