All you need to know about garden responsibility when renting property


Having tenants can be a great way to make some extra income, pay your mortgage, or solve any other financial need. But if you’re the property owner, you might be confused about who’s responsible for the upkeep of any garden attached to the house or flat. And this can be a crucial question if you decide to sell the house, as a well-maintained garden can boost the sale price.

It’s important to know who’s responsible for the garden because it can cause issues at the time you need the tenants to move out. If they have not fulfilled their duties and have let the garden become overgrown or damaged in any way, you may need to withhold some of their rental deposit money to pay for cleaning it up. But if the tenants disagree that they were responsible, it could lead to a fight over the deposit that could potentially delay your ability to sell the property.

Tenants generally are required to ensure that the garden stays tidy, is kept free of litter, and is not left to overgrow – and these are obligations you can put in the tenancy agreement.

Unless the agreement prohibits any kind of social gatherings in the garden, tenants can usually expect that they are allowed to host these events within reason. But that also means that they would be responsible for cleaning up after such events and fixing any damage that might happen.

Sometimes tenants will ask the landlord if they can make changes to the garden, such as redesigning it or putting in new plants or other features. They have to check with the landlord first before making any such changes, and you should ensure that requirement is part of the tenancy agreement. If the tenant were to make an unapproved change that impacted the overall value of the garden, that could lower the eventual sale price you might achieve for the property.

One way for landlords to guarantee proper upkeep of the garden at a house or flat they’re renting is to pay for a professional gardener who will visit on a regular basis to make sure that the garden is looking its best. Consider talking to your tenants before they sign an agreement about making the cost of the gardener part of the total rent, they pay you each month.

Whatever the terms of your rental agreement with your tenants, it’s vital that you include a security deposit. This is a lump sum of money that the tenants will give you at the start of the rental that can be used to pay for any repairs that you need to do once they move out and that are a result of their actions while they were tenants. Security deposits are a common feature of rental agreements so your tenants should be fine agreeing to these.

Take care of the garden before selling your rented property

Knowing the relevant landlord and tenant responsibilities for the garden at a rented property is important to know if you’re the owner of the house or flat and intend to sell it.

Although it’s not crucial to clean up the garden and make it presentable before listing it for sale, doing so can help to increase its overall value. And if you try to sell through an estate agent, they will probably encourage you to improve the garden’s appearance before they market the property and start to hold viewings. Of course, selling to an estate agent is rife with uncertainty about how long the home might be on the market and what the final sale price will be.

A second option for selling your rented property after resolving the garden clean-up responsibilities is to contact a reputable home buying company. Launched in 2003, LDN Properties is an example of such a business, as they make quick cash offers to buy houses and flats without charging any fees, and will do so even if you haven’t attempted to spruce up the garden.

Alternatively, you could try selling your property through an auctioneer who will also take care of listing it and selling it on the auction date. This can be a good move if your house or flat will generate competitive bidding that drives the final sale price up, but there’s no guarantee you’ll achieve a higher sale price than the opening minimum reserve bid. And even if the property achieves the reserve price, you’ll still have to pay an auctioneer fees for selling your home.

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