Who maintains the garden in a rental property?
Outside space can be a real selling point for a property, however maintaining the garden can cause problems.
Landlords tend to care a lot about their gardens, yet most tenants, while they love the garden, are often not green fingered, particularly if they are often away on business or have a home elsewhere in the UK. Indeed, over the past five years we have noticed that tenants have fewer and fewer gardening skills.
This is our view on managing gardens:
1. If the garden maintenance is important or if it is a big garden, a gardener should be employed and paid by the landlord and we will hope to include this cost in the rent. This forms part of the negotiation when agreeing the terms of the tenancy. We often do this and have found the support of a professional gardener is appreciated by tenants, especially in homes with a large, mature garden.
2. During the growing season we can check that the lawn is cut regularly – as far as possible.
3. Compromises can be reached. For example, a landlord commits to taking care of trees, shrubs and flowers and the tenant takes care of the leaves and the lawn.
4. Tenants can’t be held responsible if one or more plants die.
5. We include photographs of the garden on the inventory and will do our best to ensure that we hand it back to you in similar condition, even if this involves charging the tenant, which requires his or her consent.
6. Gardens grow. If you have not seen your property for a few years, then sometimes drastic action can be needed: for example, cutting back a tree that is dangerous or diseased.
Of course the rental contract between landlord and tenant is a negotiation. It can include any reasonable and legal clauses surrounding the maintenance of the garden provided both parties agree. Be sure to check your agreement properly.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our new book: Landlord Intelligence.