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Paying a gardener

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227 views 3 replies latest reply: 13 March 2017
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Tenant

Hi

Can our landlord make us pay to have the garden done professionally if we are unable to cut the trees down to the height he wants? 

Hes threatened a section 21 if we don’t sort it out. 

 TIA

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Tenant

Hello, what does your tenancy agreement says about gardening in the property? 

It’s frequent that gardening is a tenant’s responsibility. 

If gardening is not regarded in the tenancy agreement, there is some room to negotiate, but the garden is part of the property and daily maintenance still falls under your responsibilities. 

Just like with cleaning, if you can do gardening like the professionals and are able to maintain a healthy garden, it’s not reasonable for the landlord to require you to pay for somebody else to take care of the gardening.

If your landlord has concerns that you don’t take good care of the garden and the health of the tree is in danger, I’d say it’s pretty reasonable to require you to pay for a good gardener to do the work.  

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Tenant

Audrey, I’ve just read your posting and what a situation you find yourself in. I too have been and currently in a similar situation after privately renting the same property for 14 years. Back to you:When you took the property over was the garden discussed at all – Yes, I know about tenancy agreements and all landlords, well most will have clauses in the tenancy agreement for the garden to be maintained by the tenant. But, cleaning a house, buying a few dusters or bottles of bleach is hardly the same outlay as buying hedge cutters, lawn mowers or whatever else you may need for the garden. It’s ludicrious to say that maintaining a garden is the same as the inside of the property, as it is not. Inside the property benefits the tenant – the outside, garden does NOT in the long run, it only benefits the landlord as it will assist him to let the property again or sell it without having to do any maintenance himself. Also what needs to be considered is the age of he tenant, can the landord risk a tenant falling having an accident climbing ladders perhaps on uneven ground to cut his hedges. 

YOU MAY FIND THE FOLLOWING useful: 

The tenant if responsible for the maintenance of a garden which will have been outlined in the original tenancy agreement (AST) is not responsible to provide all the tools required to maintain it. Especially if the property has a large garden with various shrubs/hedges etc or a landscaped garden it may be advisable to employ a gardener and incorporate some of the the cost within the rental price. Ultimately the garden long term, benefits the landlord not the tenant. It is advisable to ensure gardens are as low maintenance as possible from the outset as a landlord cannot expect a tenant to provide tools which is an additional expense to maintain their garden.

The Office of Fair Trading although it ceased in 2014, has now been taken over by varoius goverment depts ( GOV UK.org) stated: The Landlord must provide the garden tools the Tenant will need for this, such as a lawn mower suitable for the size of garden, spades, hedge cutters and have an RCD protected electrical supply (an electrical supply with a circuit breaker to prevent electrocution), and provide safety gloves. Ideally the socket nearest the garden should have a built in RCD so as to protect the tenants if they use any electrical equipment outdoors.

 

Alternatively the Landlord could provide a gardener and pay 75% of the cost, and the tenant 25% of the cost included in their rent. Tenants do not have a long-term benefit from the garden, so the Landlord should pay the greater share of the cost, as they receive the long-term benefit. Many landlords are choosing this option now.

Part of this is also currently active on quite a high-end letting agents website, which is where I initially found some of the information. Obviously I have no idea as to the size of the garden, whether you wanted a property with garden as I suspect that would have some affect on the outcome and negotiating. I’ve rented a property for 14 years where the garden for all this time has not been part of the maintenance – that was the ONLY reason I agreed to rent the property, so I suspect it will all depend on what you agreed with the landlord, and yes a verbal agreement has weight, it’s what one might call implied. So don’t be forced or pressured into something that you did not agree to initially.

Good luck!

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Tenant

Thank you for your replies! The tenancy agreement states we need to maintain the garden, but I never thought it’d run to having to cut trees right down, plus we don’t have the equipment to do so. LL says if we can’t do it ourselves then as its our tenancy we have to pay a gardener. 

 

Im going to look into what you said Suzanne re LL having to provide equipment etc

 

Thanks again!

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