In the UK, when it comes to responsibility for the garden, the law is clear – the landlord is expected to make sure the garden is in a good condition before the tenant moves in and the tenant is then responsible for the maintenance and upkeep during their tenancy.Whilst the landlord is not expected to carry out repairs to the garden, they are expected to ensure that it is safe and secure.
Under English law, a tenant is responsible for the garden in the same way they are responsible for the interior of the property; they must take reasonable care to keep it in the same condition as it was when they moved in. This includes mowing the lawn, weeding the flower beds and any other general upkeep. Most tenancy agreements will include specific clauses that outline the tenant’s responsibilities for the garden and the penalty for not carrying out the necessary maintenance.
Legal court cases about garden maintenance in tenancies
There have been several cases in which a tenant has been found liable for neglecting the garden. In the case of Cowan v Miah (2005), the tenant was held liable for failing to maintain the garden and was ordered to pay the landlord £150 in compensation. The court found that the tenant had breached the terms of their tenancy agreement and had shown negligence in not carrying out the necessary garden maintenance.
If a tenant does not carry out the required garden maintenance, a landlord has several options.
They can serve the tenant with a written warning, reminding them of their legal obligations and giving them a reasonable time period in which to carry out the necessary repairs. If the tenant fails to comply, the landlord can take them to court and seek damages. Additionally, if the tenant fails to pay the court-ordered damages, the landlord may be able to seek a possession order, which would allow them to evict the tenant.