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Garden Disputes: A Landlords Guide

17th April 2023

garden dispute

Gardens are always one of the top five factors in private tenancy deposit disputes. Letting agents and landlords can help minimise garden-related problems as we enter into the warmer seasons. Many of the causes can be avoided by taking a few easy steps. Here are our suggestions to prevent issues from arising and maintain gardens that develop and grow:


Specify who is responsible

The main problems with gardens include weeds, lawns, fences, and overgrown plants, but disagreements can result from misunderstandings about who is in charge of fixing these typical issues.

In a TDS survey of 2,000 landlords and rental agents, 75% said that tenants are responsible for maintaining the gardens. The issue is that the tenant might not always be aware of this.

There are some broad recommendations about garden responsibility in rentals, but there are no rigid rules.

The tenant ill normally be responsible for performing general maintenance tasks, however, repairs of exterior elements including fences, drains, walls, paving, steps, and decking, for instance, will probably fall under the landlord’s legal obligation to maintain the property in a safe and functional condition.

  • First, make it abundantly clear to the tenant what is expected of them within and outside the property. Give specifics regarding the areas of the gardens each person is in charge of maintaining in the contract.
  • Upon the beginning of the tenancy, make a full inventory upon check-in and take date-stamped pictures of the garden as it is. All parties will then have a benchmark to work towards as a result. Inform tenants that they are required to restore the garden to its original state at the end of their tenancy.


Simplify gardening

While having tenants with the ability to garden is ideal, there are ways to make gardening at a rental property simpler for those who need guidance.

  • If you can, keep the design of your garden simple. Steer clear of crowded flowerbeds and labour-intensive plants. Choose slow-growing trees or bushes and easy to maintain borders.
  • Supply the tenant with gardening supplies like a lawnmower, rake, and basic tools especially if the rental home includes a shed or garage.


Stay in touch frequently

Conflicts of all kinds frequently arise when communication fails or there is miscommunication. At the beginning of the tenancy, establish open lines of contact and promote an environment of discussion.

  • Make it simple for tenants to report problems as they emerge. This will stop such problems from growing and becoming more expensive in the future. Keep communications recorded and organised so that all parties can track the status of issues reported and the development of those issues.
  • Take into account giving tenants seasonal reminders that provide practical guidance on how to manage gardens at various periods of the year.


Perform seasonal inspections

It is beneficial to evaluate houses throughout the year because gardens can alter so radically from season to season. Visits are best made in the spring and autumn because each can bring to light different problems with a property’s external sections.

  • Schedule mid-tenancy inspections to assess the state of exterior spaces. Before gardens sprout, spring is a fantastic time to tour a property. Any structural problems will be easier to spot, and repairs will be less complicated. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to explain, remind, and council tenants about garden upkeep at this time.


Rental homes with gardens are becoming progressively more popular. If you use the above advice, they frequently come with higher rental prices and less problems.

Seraph can arrange and be in charge of above communications with tenants and make sure everything is maintained all year long. Discover how to keep on top of garden disputes, inventories and tenancy checks with Seraph Property Management, here.