Summer is here and with that there are bound to be a plethora of barbeques, swimming pools and sun-loungers filling the gardens up and down the country.
This week one of our members contacted us with a query relating to the garden of their property, specifically regarding who should be responsible for the maintenance of the garden.
Their tenants had not been looking after the garden so far during the tenancy and now that it comes to summer time, they have approached the landlord regarding this fact.
What we advised
We firstly advised our member to refer to their contract as this will be the most important factor in determining who will be responsible for the condition of the garden. As they use the RLA tenancy agreement, this will include a clause which makes the tenant responsible for keeping the garden tidy and “cutting the grass regularly”.
Our member is well within their rights to point this out to the tenant and expect them to be responsible for the gardening.
Whilst not required, it is often advisable to have provided some kind of equipment to make this easier for the tenant, and therefore makes them more likely to adhere to their responsibilities. Some tenants may be moving out on their own for their first time, or have never lived in a property with a garden before. Taking a short time at the start of the tenancy to outline what you expect and what tools to use to keep the garden tidy can be a good way of ensuring this.
It is also advisable to think about what you are requiring your tenant to do. Asking them to do some basic weeding and trimming the grass is totally reasonable and not a difficult task to do, whereas if you are requiring your tenant to have a green thumb and do technical tasks that they may not feel confident doing, they will be less likely to carry this out. Similarly, if you are asking your tenant to climb up ladders and cut down trees or branches, this could put them in danger.
If your tenants are going to be away from the property for some time, perhaps on holiday, or if you do student lettings where the property is vacant for a time, remembering to keep the garden tidy without the tenants there is important. Long overgrown gardens can be a potential sign for thieves to look out for vacant properties. You can learn more about how to keep your property secure if your tenants go away on holiday here.
Rupinder Aujla, LAT Team Manager said “It is important that both landlords and their tenants are clear on what is written in their tenancy agreement, and understand the obligations which it will place on them. Gardening is often a contentious issue during tenancies, but a simple clause in the agreement should help to tidy things up.”
- Want to learn more? Have a go at our gardening quiz here.
- Do you need gardening tools? Or perhaps you want to spruce up your garden? We can help. RLA members can receive a FREE Tradepoint discount card, entitling them to discounts on a whole range of products at B & Q.
- Not a member of the RLA? For unlimited one to one advice over the phone, join us today.