If you are one of the lucky ones who is renting a property that comes with a garden, then you might be wondering what your responsibility is in term of its general maintenance and upkeep, or whether you have any responsibility at all. When it comes to the garden of a rental property, Landlords and Tenants can get easily confused with what is required from both parties and so we hope our blog post will clear this up.
As part of your Tenancy Agreement, it may be agreed that the Landlord is going to hire a gardener to ensure the garden stays up to standard. Your contract may specifically state how many hours a week they will attend, especially if it is a large garden which needs a lot of attention.
However, in a lot of cases it is the Tenant’s responsibility to maintain the garden and ensure it is returned in the same state as at the start of the tenancy (obviously the season and time of year needs to be taken into account.) It is then up to you to decide whether you want to hire a gardener and pay for this service, or do the gardening yourself.
The very minimum that is generally expected of the Tenant is that they keep the garden litter free, reasonably tidy and not overgrown. You do not have to be an amazing gardener or horticulturalist to maintain this basic standard:
Water the lawn and plants
Cut the grass
Trim the hedges, especially so they do not encroach onto neighbours’ properties or public areas
Weed the garden
Wash down the patio
Do not allow plants and shrubs to overgrow
Ensure it is kept litter free
Return it in the same condition
Keeping up with the garden maintenance all year round will make it much easier for you come the end of the tenancy.
If you have pets who use the lawn then you will need to try and avoid too many brown patches, and similarly if you have had children’s toys on the lawn and the grass is all dead underneath. Several months before vacating, you will need to arrange for the grass to be re-turfed or seed put down.
If you do nothing and leave the garden as it is, then the Landlord can deduct money from the deposit to pay for a gardener to bring it back up to scratch.
Please note that you are only responsible for returning the garden in the same state that it was in when you moved in. This means that a Landlord cannot expect you to carry out improvements to the garden if it was already in a poor condition. You are not obliged to return the garden to an improved condition.
If you do want to alter something in the garden, then you must seek the Landlord’s permission first. Failure to do so could result in you having to pay to return the garden to its original state.
Furthermore, if there are any large trees in the garden which require expertise in order to cut them down, then you should contact your Landlord as you cannot be expected to carry out this task.
We hope that this helps clarify where the responsibility lies when it comes to maintaining the garden of a rental property, but should you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us.