It'll depend on the landlord. Think of it like there are 3 levels of property management:
- commercially owned and professionally managed, like an apartment complex where there's a professional staff on call 24/7
- a private home managed by a company where there's also someone to call 24/7, but the owner still has to pay for whatever repairs and may not be able to afford those repairs, so you may have to deal with issues until he can afford them
- private party where you're renting directly from the owner - this can be a crapshoot - you could get a wonderful landlord (like us :) ) or you could get a horrible one or someone in the middle.
What costs you're responsible for as the tenant vary.
We've owned 5 houses and are moving again and are really excited to be renting for the first time since college. We're tired of having everything be our responsibility! We're looking at townhomes in commercial complexes, so we get the size we want with a little yard, but with the on-call professional staff and amenities of a commercial complex.
To avoid lawn care, you can look for listings with the lawn care included or negotiate it in.
(We're landlords ourselves to 2 properties, so I'll answer any other questions you have.)