A rental property is both an investment, and a home… so is it tenants’ responsibility to maintain the garden, or is it the landlord’s?
Some tenants love to garden and are more than willing to do yard work on their rented properties, but not others!
This can lead to a predicament where tenants and landlords don’t quite know whose responsibility is the garden of a rental property.
So, let’s break it down, and find out, is it the tenants responsibility to maintain garden of their rental property, or is it the landlord’s?
NOTE: This guide is meant as advice for single-family home rentals. For multi-unit residential properties, scroll down to the Q&A below!
So, to start:
The short answer…
Is that, simply speaking, the responsibility for the garden of a rental property is determined by the lease agreement. So if you aren’t sure, have a read through yours right now.
In most cases, the tenant will be responsible for regular maintenance, while the landlord will be responsible for fixing major issues.
As for the long answer…
If your lease agreement doesn’t cover gardens, or if you are curious to know about the typical responsibilities for the garden of a rental property, then read on for a more detailed response:
What Is a Tenant Responsible for?
1) Basic Maintenance
As a tenant, basic maintenance on the garden of a rental property is usually your responsibility.
That means, by a standard lease agreement, you will have to rake up fallen leaves, mow the lawn if it’s overgrown, do some cleaning, water the plants, trim hedges… and so on.
Hence, keep the lawn in overall good shape and make sure everything in the garden is rosy.
The landlord is not typically responsible for this basic maintenance, unless otherwise specified in the lease agreement…
So watch out! Any negligence on your part as a tenant could result in fines or action against you.
2) Reporting Problems
If an issue comes up, like insect infestation of the plants, flooding of the yard, or withering for an unknown reason, the tenant’s job is to report.
You are required by the landlord to bring the problem to their attention right away.
Otherwise, any damage that comes about because you didn’t report this issue could be YOUR responsibility!
3) Sorting Out Urgent Repairs
Now, this one is usually the landlord’s responsibility, but if the garden needs an urgent fix and your landlord is inaccessible (out of town, maybe)…
It’s your duty as the tenant get the necessary repairs done.
Just be sure to document everything, keep all receipts for payment, and inform the landlord as soon as they’re back in town so that they’re aware of what’s going on – and so they can compensate you for your work!
4) Plants and Flowers
These are generally not your responsibility, but if you want to add some personality to your property’s garden, you have the right to do it!
Just make sure the landlord approves beforehand.
If they don’t, you might be asked to take the plants down.
What is a Landlord Responsible For?
1) Major Gardening Works and Repairs
In general, the landlord is responsible for all major repairs that are required in the garden of a rental property. They cannot force you to carry out garden chores beyond the boundaries of reason.
For example, a tree in the garden with its branches sprawling all over and reaching into electric wirings is going to be the landlord’s headache, not yours.
Similarly, significant trimmings, landscaping, or uprooting dead trees are all the landlord’s side of the equation.
2) Replacing Damaged Plants and Gardening Equipment
If any plants or gardening equipment at the property gets damaged during the tenancy, it’s also the landlord who is responsible for replacing them.
For landlords, it’s a good idea to put some of the collected rent money aside each month for this exact situation – as a repair or replacement contingency fund.
3) Jobs Requiring Special Expertise
Any garden job that demands ‘specialist skills’ will be considered the responsibility of the landlord!
Sometimes, a garden may be pretty complicated to work on and need experienced hands to take care of it. A tenant with just superficial knowledge of lawn care may ruin its look…
So, it would be up to the landlord to hire a specialist for the job.
4) Taking Care of the Bigger Picture
A landlord is typically responsible for taking care of the bigger picture in regards to the garden of a rental property.
In other words, the overall look.
A landlord cannot expect you to spend time ‘improving‘ the appearance of their garden or enhance its beauty. The tenant’s side of the equation is ‘maintaining‘ the state in which that the property was handed to them – NOT turning it into a blooming paradise!
You are not responsible for determining what or how that should be done.
That’s the landlord’s job!
Q&A, Some Special Scenarios
Done with the general garden duties of both tenants and landlords, and the answer to ‘is it tenants responsibility to maintain garden’.
Now let’s look at some important questions…
Can I pick the fruits?
Yes, you can! Because, as the tenant, you currently reside at the property and tend to that fruity garden.
What if I live in a Multi-Unit Residential Complex?
For a housing complex with several units, you will not be responsible for garden upkeep.
Usually, part of your rent in these residences goes to hiring a regular gardener who is responsible for maintaining the lawns and gardens.
What if a tenant Is unable to garden?
If a tenant is disabled or can’t pull off garden care for any valid reason, they can’t be forced to do it. The landlord would have to look for other options.
What if a tenant gets injured mending the garden?
The landlord is not usually responsible for accidents that occur in the rented property…
But they ARE liable if you prove that the accident took place because of the landlord’s neglect and carelessness regarding your safety!
But the Best Option… Middle Way!
No doubt, that’s something everyone (both tenant and landlord) will be willing to settle on!
But, wait! What’s the middle way anyway?
Well… outsourcing the gardening task to a professional company and including the fees in the monthly rent!
Most tenants wouldn’t even care about a little extra cost in exchange for a neat and well-kempt garden (would you?).
And, on the other hand, the landlord won’t have to fret about their tenants’ gardening skills of the property’s untidy look.
So, that’d be a win-win situation, wouldn’t you say?
For more tips for landlords and tenants, read our other expert articles on the AQRE Home Blog!
– is it tenants responsibility to maintain garden
– is it tenants responsibility to maintain garden