homeowner neighbours foliage | The Tenants' Voice
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homeowner neighbours foliage

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659 views 1 replies latest reply: 22 October 2015

I have lived in this property 5 years,  the neighbour has a very overgrown garden with honey suckle growing up the rear wall. It sometimes grows over to my side covering the bathroom window and previously the landlady has had it cut back (family or friends are who do their maintenance jobs).  I have inspections every 4 months but this last one has said it is my responsibility to make sure the honeysuckle doesn’t get to the guttering and roof or cover extractor fan vent.  I live on my own, I don’t have ladders or equipment for this kind of job.  I had a letter quoting sections of my tenancy agreement about garden maintenance and ensuring no damage to property, however I do maintain my garden and the plant is next door.  Agent advised hiring their contractor to cut back honey suckle in future meaning I have to pay someone to do it rather than the landlady owner sending the adjoining property owner the bill.

What are my rights here? I’m starting to feel like I have no voice 

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Hi M

What exactly does your tenancy agreement say? That’s where you need to look first. It should state who is responsible for what – keeping gutters and the roof clear doesn’t normally fall to a tenant for the very reasons you state.

Agents will always try and get tenants to pay for things, that’s how many of these joyful creatures work. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually have to. 

So, look at your tenancy agreement and see where gutters, roof and external walls are mentioned. I very much doubt this is your responsibility. Write back to the agent and quote those sections of the tenancy that make gutters, roofs and external walls the landlord’s responsibility (if that’s what it says). Point out that the garden is not on the roof. And that the honeysuckle in question is not coming from the garden that the tenancy agreement covers. Perhaps you could also mention that it will most likely be the owner of the honeysuckle who has to pay for any damage that it causes so the legal owner of your property (the landlord) should write to the legal owner of the honeysuckle (the other house) and point this out. Your obligations probably go as far as to notify the landlord of the potential problem – of which they’re obviously aware. I’m not a lawyer but your tenancy should make things clear and if you want a legal opinion try the local Citizens Advice.

Finally, keep all letters and emails and take some photos of where the honeysuckle comes from. If at the end of the tenancy the landlord via the agent tries to keep any of your deposit for the honeysuckle issue then raise a dispute with the deposit protection scheme that has your deposit. It will then be up to the landlord to prove that it was your responsibility to keep gutters, roof and external walls clear (which they won’t be able to do if the tenancy makes it their responsibility).

You have a voice, your have rights – your tenancy agreement is your best weapon (as well as the ability to ignore letting agent bullying until you’ve got to the truth of a matter).



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