Garden maintenance can be a thorny issue for property investors – Damian Collins

The question of who is responsible for garden maintenance can often lead to issues between a landlord and tenant.

So, what exactly is a tenant’s responsibility when it comes to maintaining the garden, and what is the landlord’s responsibility?

Living in a property with a beautiful garden can be a treat, especially in the spring and summer months when the weather is great and we are entertaining outdoors.

The problem with gardens is that they require maintenance. And although some people are happy to spend weekends exercising their green thumbs, for most people garden maintenance is a chore, which is why gardens are so often neglected.

Inevitably, garden maintenance, or the lack thereof, can often lead to issues between a landlord and tenant.

So, what exactly is a tenant’s responsibility when it comes to maintaining the garden, and what is the landlord’s responsibility?

Unless the tenancy agreement says otherwise, the tenant is generally responsible for mowing and edging lawns, watering, weeding, pruning, and fertilising.

These responsibilities could easily be termed ‘general maintenance’. Ultimately, the tenant is responsible for ensuring the garden is maintained to a standard set at the beginning of the tenancy.

Generally, the landlord is responsible for things such as providing hoses and sprinklers, maintaining the reticulation system, cleaning gutters and tree lopping.[sam id=41 codes=’true’]

However, in some tenancy agreements it is the tenant’s responsibility to replace broken sprinkler heads.

It’s easy to see how uncertainty and issues may arise.

For instance, at what point does a tree or shrub require lopping instead of pruning?

And although the landlord is generally responsible for keeping gutters clean, it is the tenant’s responsibility to advise the property manager of any potential blockages or water leaks.

If an issue is fairly obvious and the tenant fails to report it, the tenant may be liable for any damage caused.

A good property manager will make sure all parties clearly understand their responsibilities, and with the help of a comprehensive Property Condition Report and regular inspections, ensure these responsibilities are met.

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Damian Collins

About

Damian is managing director of Momentum Wealth, a Perth based property investment consultancy firm. A successful property investor in his own right, Damian formed Momentum Wealth to assist time poor investors in building their portfolios and applies his many years of experience to help clients accelerate their wealth creation. Visit www.momentumwealth.com.au


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