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Gardening Disputes: Landlords & Tenants Responsibilities

Gardening disputes can often be quite similar to cleaning related disputes as they are both based on subjective views. The idea of a well-maintained garden can be very different between landlords and tenants. 

The subjective nature of what a landlord may consider a well-kept garden may be very different from their tenant’s definition of the same thing. In many cases, the ambiguity can be removed before the setting up the tenancy by accurately documenting the state of the garden in inventory reports or check-in reports supported by dated photographs, which can be compared with the check-out report when the tenant is moving out. 

Specific garden-related clauses are suggested to be included in the tenancy agreement, if needed, detailing the breakdown of responsibilities for outdoor areas and the expectations in terms of upkeep. 

Outdoor areas are equally as important as indoor areas. Gardening disputes can range from minor disagreements over plants to major outdoors redevelopment with massive claims. Taking the time to make clarifications on the maintenance responsibilities can save time and reduce the risks of such disputes. 

Tenant’s Responsibilities In Garden Maintenance

Tenants should always abide by the terms and clauses stated in the tenancy agreement. It is expected that tenants return the garden in the original state prior to moving in. For example, if the garden wasn’t well-maintained when the tenants moved in, the landlords should not expect it to be refurnished or redeveloped by the tenant. 

It is not tenants’ responsibilities to upgrade a garden, but simply to keep the garden litter-free, reasonably clean and stay on top of de-weeding. If an expert is required for the gardening issue, such as cutting large trees and returfing the lawn, it should lie in the landlord’s responsibility instead of the tenant’s. 

Landlord’s Responsibilities In Garden Maintenance

It is important that landlords clearly state within the tenancy agreement their reasonable expectations in terms of garden maintenance. Photographs should also be inserted in the check-in report to use as evidence should any issues arise. 

Landlords are required to take actions if the tenant reports an issue which isn’t caused by them, or if the issue requires a professional’s expertise. It is common for portfolio landlords to hire a gardener to maintain all the gardens in their properties; however, this is not a mandatory requirement. Portfolio landlords can consider hiring gardeners to avoid long-term problems being built up, or perform regular property inspections to ensure any potential issues are recognised as early as possible. Although regular inspections and maintenance can take up a lot of time, landlords can use full property management services from online letting agents, or choose a service that provides optimal property management support without paying heavy commission fees via high street estate agents. Some landlords may also consider insurance to cover any damages. 

MakeUrMove is an online letting platform that brings private landlords and tenants together. Private landlords can advertise and manage their properties without using a high street estate agent or worry about commission fees, whilst tenants can look for available properties in local areas all across the UK.

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