Being a landlord is no easy task. You can’t just purchase a portfolio of properties, rent them out and watch the money come in. You’re required to maintain and ensure the safety of your residents. But when it comes to gardens, it can feel a little more of a grey area – for both tenants and landlords.
It can cause confusion and is one of the most common reasons behind tenant disputes, so it’s important to be clear when it comes to who’s responsible for what.
If you’re new to being a landlord, establishing your own terms and knowledge on what you are responsible for is a must. Here is our guide to what landlords are responsible for when it comes to gardens…
What are tenant responsibilities?
Tenants are required to abide by the rules and regulations set out in the Assured Tenancy Agreement. This is an agreement established prior to the moving in of the tenant and generally requires those occupying the residence to keep the garden litter free and relatively tidy. This means ensuring it does not become overgrown. If there is a lawn, tenants must maintain the mowing of it, unless an agreement is in place with the landlord.
The tenant must make sure the garden is kept in the same state as it was when first moving into a property, just as is the case with anything on the inside of it too.
What this does mean, however, is that if the garden wasn’t properly maintained prior to a tenant moving in, then they will not have to ensure it’s maintained and won’t have to carry out improvements. Additionally, any jobs that require specific skills are not required to be undertaken by the tenant.
Should a tenant wish to make any changes to a garden, by law they must seek approval from the landlord before doing so. Failure to do so could see the tenant having to pay the cost to return the garden to its original state.
A landlord’s responsibilities
Landlords, meanwhile, must ensure the maintenance of the garden in areas that it isn’t reasonable for a tenant to do so. That means tasks requiring expertise should be taken care of by the landlord.
Usually, this means jobs associated with trees, or the upkeep of any out-buildings. What’s more, if a landlord wants to prohibit things such as barbecues in the garden, then this must be clearly written into the tenancy agreement.
Often, landlords who have a portfolio of properties will enlist the help of a gardener to maintain these, which ensures all gardens are being kept to a good standard and there’s no worry of tenants causing a mess!
It’s important to note, that if the agreement says a landlord will provide a gardener, they must do so for the entire length of the tenancy agreement.
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