Tenants can spend a lot of time worrying about the interior of their property that the outside can fall by the wayside.
But the garden of a tenant’s property is just as important as the interior. Under tenant obligations, in section four of our contract, it states tenants agree:
“To maintain the upkeep of both front and rear gardens throughout all times of the year, including the borders, weeding, small shrubbery and the ground.”
Gardening and your deposit
Neglecting your garden can make your property look unkempt – but it can put a dent in your bank balance too. If it isn’t looked after properly, it will come out of your bond.
Lettings manager Louise Rock said: “Often tenants will hand in their month’s notice and spend that time moving furniture and moving out. By the time they are done, the garden will be overgrown and they might say they haven’t been there – but it is still their responsibility.”
Homes with pets
Pets, and in particular dogs, can be a big problem for gardens. If they urinate on grass which isn’t looked after, it can kill it. And one of the most common problems agents encounter is dog mess – scoop it regularly, don’t leave it as manure.
"You'd be surprised how many people let their pets rule the garden" Louise explains. "A lot of occupants will let their dogs or other animals have the garden as their own territory to avoid ruining carpets and walls inside, and get so used to the garden being that way that they forget to rectify this when leaving.
"We've had many disputes over gardening issues but ultimately, as with the home itself, you must return the exterior as you were given it at the start of your tenancy".
Overgrown shrubbery and flowers
Overgrown hedges not only look messy but they count within the agreement. They are also a big factor in first impressions of a home. You can tell a lot about a person by how well they keep their gardens.
Sometimes flowers seem to come in for a lot of punishment for no apparent reason. They look a lot nicer in the soil. Being pulled out of the ground, trampled or otherwise damaged doesn’t tend to help them out.
Sometimes tenants want to make some changes to the garden of their properties; allotments and sheds can be great ideas, but can be bad for the garden.
If an allotment is dug on part of the garden, it should be restored to how it was before when the tenant leaves. Sometimes new tenants will want to keep the allotment and the responsibility becomes their throughout their own tenancy, but the handover of this must be agreed in writing between all parties to avoid any future discrepencies.
Items on the grass
You may have a shed or even a trampoline, keep it moving around the garden during the summer months – or risk an obvious patch of dead grass. Anything that shades the sun from the grass will prevent this area growing naturally with the rest of the lawn, and can cause a very obvious cosmetic difference. This counts for garden furniture too, and children's large play toys.
Do you have any handy gardening advice you think others would benefit from? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us via our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thelettingcoukltd) for your tips to be featured on our website.