When Renting Is It The Tenants Or Landlords Responsibility To Keep The Garden Tidy?
Whose responsibility is it to look after the garden?
As a renter, do I have to look after the garden?
Who has to make sure the garden is kept tidy? Me or my landlord?
First stop - your tenancy agreement
It’s a very good idea to have a tenancy agreement, in writing, not just a verbal agreement.
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your landlord.
We won’t do a deep dive in this article, suffice to say, you should have one - it should tell you what your responsibilities are.
After reading the tenancy agreement you find out the garden is your responsibility, then here’s a bunch of things you should probably be aware of:
Check the inventory
The inventory should state the condition of the garden as you moved in,
Make sure this is properly recorded in the inventory.
Keep a record
Take pictures of the garden. Remember you can use Tenants’ Tools to keep all your tenancy images and documents safe,
It’s always worth sending the landlord a copy of the garden pictures - and if you’ve gone through a letting agent, fire them over a copy too.
If garden maintenance is included in the tenancy agreement, you need to remember that you’re responsible for ‘returning’ the garden to the landlord in the same state it was in when you started renting the property. Granted, those pesky plants have a habit of growing, so it’s not going to be possible to return it exactly to the same condition, but you get the idea. If it’s a prime example of an English Rose Garden, you’ll need to work to keep it up to scratch.
You do not have to make any improvements to the garden.
Does my landlord have to provide tools for me to keep the garden tidy?
No. Even if the property is listed as ‘furnished’ your landlord doesn’t have to provide tools for you to maintain the garden. Some landlords will provide you with tools to keep the garden up together, others won’t. But if your landlord expects you to keep the grass cut throughout the summer months and hasn't provided you with a lawn mower or strimmer, it's definitely a good idea to suggest the landlord supplies the equipment.
Revalationary; we know, but we just run a website, not Gardeners World.
In the spring and summer, plants grow more than they usually would do in autumn and winter. The garden in your rented place is likely to have a bit of a growth spurt in the spring and summer. Keep an eye on everything, tap into your inner Alan Titchmarsh, make sure the weeds are ousted and nothing is too overgrown.
Keep your garden tidy and free of any rubbish. We’re not talking JCBs and skips, but garden rubbish bags and the odd trip to the tip at the end of the summer to make sure the garden is kept tidy.
Your landlord cannot expect you to perform tasks that require expertise. This would include things like pruning a tree, climbing ladders to trim overhanging hedges, emptying a koi pond. It’s the landlords responsibility to ensure things that require expertise are dealt with by the landlord, not the tenant.
A fence panel has blown over in the strong winds - whose responsibility is it to fix the broken fence panel - the tenant or the landlords?
It’s the landlords responsibility to fix structural issues like broken or blown over fence panels. Repairing a blown over fence panel is imperative to maintain the security of the property and would require some expertise, so it’s the landlord's job.
The tenants responsibility is to maintain the garden and keep it tidy - not to fix broken fence panels.