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Gardening 101: what are your responsibilities?

Posted on 2015-06-29

Summer’s finally arrived, which means that it’s time to take advantage of your garden. Whether you prefer family BBQs, street parties or even Wimbledon parties with strawberries and cream, the garden’s a great place to host guests. But, when doing this, what are your responsibilities as a tenant, and what should you double check with your landlord?

Acting neighbourly

If you’re hosting a party or having friends over in the garden then it’s vital that you tell your neighbours about what it is and what time it’ll finish (as well as whether they’re invited, of course).

Even if it’s just an afternoon BBQ, it’s polite to still make them aware as they may be hanging out washing that’ll be at risk of attracting smoke fumes. Warning them ahead of time prevents any potential confrontations and helps establish trust and respect.

It also helps prevent complaints about noise levels. Neighbours complaining to your landlord, if they know them, could sour a number of relationships. Being neighbourly and telling everyone in advance can prevent this and, no matter what activity you’re hosting, a heads up is always welcome.

Garden maintenance

Even if you’re not hosting parties this summer, basic garden maintenance remains your responsibility as a tenant. You can check your tenancy agreement to see exactly what’s specified but, generally speaking, tenants are responsible for basic maintenance such as:

  • Ensuring bins are emptied
  • Cutting the grass and bushes
  • Weeding 
  • Cleaning gully traps

Anything on the exterior that’s structural, such as repairs to garden walls or paths, is the responsibility of the landlord. Check your agreement carefully so you know what you need to do.

Grass grows at its quickest in the summer months and plants will need watering, meaning regular upkeep’s required. It’s simple to keep on top of your gardening chores if you do them regularly. You can really make the garden a great place to be by cutting the grass and ensuring your flowers stay watered. You can even consider planting a few flowers (if your tenancy agreement allows) or placing a few in pots.

Asking the landlord about improvements

If you want to make any more permanent changes then it’s essential that you communicate with your landlord and get written permission to do so. This would include:

  • Creating a vegetable patch 
  • Adding a garden path 
  • Installing a patio

Ultimately, this remains their house and, much like with the interior, they have the final say on whether you’re allowed to make any permanent or semi-permanent changes.

If your landlord does allow the changes, then ask for permission in writing. That way, you’re both covered during check-out.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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