Tenant Garden Maintenance Central Housing Group

Tenant Garden Maintenance – Lawnmower Provision – Originally Posted by NRLA

This week is National Gardening Week, and with summer approaching here we take a look at how we recently helped one member learn more about tenant garden maintenance.

The situation

Our landlord called up as they only fairly recently became a landlord, and they wanted to make sure they were doing the right thing.

With the weather getting warmer, they called our advice team about one of their rental properties which they were about to let out, that has a large garden.

In terms of keeping on top of tenant garden maintenance, they wanted to know if they legally have to provide garden equipment such as a lawnmower for the tenants. They also wanted some clarity in general around tenants’ responsibilities for looking after the garden.

Our advice

The adviser explained that Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that the landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the property, such as drains, gutters and external pipework, but there isn’t anything here to specify any obligations when it comes to the gardening.

Because of this, it is best instead to look to the tenancy agreement to find such obligations.

As an example, the NRLA tenancy agreement does have a clause requiring the tenant to keep the garden tidy and to cut the grass regularly, but there is no requirement to improve the garden. So the tenant should keep things tidy but they don’t have to be green fingered.

Should garden equipment be provided?

To answer the initial question, while they as the landlord are not obliged to provide a lawnmower, they would need to rely on the tenant either already having one, or buying one to meet their obligations in the garden. With this in mind, our adviser suggested it might be practical and reasonable to provide one.

The landlord said they might instead pay for a gardener to visit the property, with the fees for this covered by the rent.

Our adviser explained that this is permissible as long as the fee makes up part of the rent and is not a separate fee, which would be a prohibited payment under the tenant fee ban – and is not allowed.

Blog Post from NRLA

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