Query – where do we stand with shared garden/driveway issues? | The Tenants' Voice
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Query - where do we stand with shared garden/driveway issues?

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77 views 2 replies latest reply: 26 June 2017
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Tenant

Hi all, I am new to the forums and this is my first post. Will try to keep succinct instead of throwing an essay at you. 

  • My partner and I rent the top flat of a former semi-detached house that has been split into two self-contained flats. 
  • There is another couple living downstairs in the ground floor flat. 
  • Private landlady. Generally very quick at resolving issues, such as broken boiler etc. 
  • There is a shared shingled garden with rotary line, and shared driveway. 
  • Over past few months, we neighbours have been struggling to reach a satisfactory resolution in respect of shared facilities. All four of us have been at a ridiculous war over getting our washing dry; four adults cause a fair amount of washing, especially when we don’t want to cause damp issues by drying things indoors or resorting to tumble-dryers. 
  • Landlady installed a washing line in the hope this would resolve the issue, but line is partially under an overgrown tree and we’ve ended up getting bird cr*p on our washing. 
  • Overgrown tree is also causing problems with shared driveway. We own one car per household, and are constantly jostling over the space furthest away from the trees. This has caused ill feelings, as car paintwork is regularly getting damaged by the tree debris and bird mess. 
  • Overgrown tree is also encroaching on the building’s roof and our bathroom window. 
  • Last year we hired a handyman to help us cut some lower hanging branches, but he was limited in terms of safety etc as he’s not a professional tree surgeon. Landlady was not happy that we did this, despite the fact the branches had been taking over the entire driveway. (NB. the tree is not protected). She said she was not prepared to remove the tree. 
  • This summer, the tree is in full bloom, has grown some more and is causing issues and friction for us neighbours over the shared facilities. It’s taking over viable tree-free space in driveway, and potential drying areas for washing. 
  • I wrote to landlady a second time (as I have asked last year) insisting something be done, as the ill-feeling between us neighbours was getting unbearable. 
  • She came to take a look at property today, and was very dismissive about our concerns, as per below responses… 
  • She said she will get her maintenance man to put a hook into the wall of the house so we can have somewhere to put the line. 
  • She’s not prepared to allow us to have another rotary as she believes it will take up too much space. 
  • Apparently, she’s looking into quotes to get the tree cut back or removed completely… But she “didn’t like” either of the tree surgeons she obtained quotes from last year. 
  • In respect of the driveway, she said she isn’t obliged to provide us with parking in the first place (despite the fact we live besides a busy city-outskirts roundabout, so goodness knows where we’d be expected to put our vehicles), and that we should be thankful we don’t have to get a permit (although it’s only city centre residential streets that have to pay for parking around here). 
  • In respect of damage caused to our cars, and the issues it’s causing our relations as neighbours, her answer is to “keep a bucket of water and a sponge outside.” 
  • In essence, she is not interested in maintaining these overgrown trees, as she’s more interested in indoor electrical works for her fleet of properties.
  • Overgrown trees around the property are beginning to encroach over public pavement areas and could potentially go over into the road at this rate. 

I have tried to update with pictures for reference below, hopefully the link will work. Neither household is in a financial position to move elsewhere (regardless, it won’t solve anything), plus we like living where we are and should not be making enemies of one another over shared facilities. What are our rights in respect of this, and what are the landlady’s obligations? 

Thank you all. 

Rose

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Tenant

Anyone? :/

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Tenant

Check your tenancy agreement. If it says that you’re responsible for maintenance of the garden, then you’re responsible to handle the tree surgery procedure (by paying for it), however, that also frees you from having to negotiate every leaf and branch with the landlady. 

If not, then the landlady is responsible, but there isn’t really a particular mechanism for enforcing her to trim the tree down. 

I suggest that you simply get more quotes and find a satisfactory provider who would cut the tree back at a reasonable price. 

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You should call them and ask about tree surgery. I’m sure you would receive a great service. 

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