Is your rental garden dying?
- In this current heatwave are your tenants finding that the garden is suffering?
- If the grass dies what affect might that have on your deposit?
- What kind of garden maintenance clauses might you have in your tenancy agreements?
In this current hot spell in the UK with hosepipe bans on the news many gardens are drying up. Plants are suffering and lawns are turning brown. Many people don’t have the time to water the garden and with hosepipe bans around the country it can make maintaining gardens much harder. In this economic climate the extra bills can also add to the monthly expenditure meaning watering the garden for someone on a meter would not be at the top of the list.
Water companies are reporting an increase of up to 30% water usage in some areas, with this unexpected heat wave this can affect your rental properties appearance. If you have a changing tenancy at this time of year the kerb appearance could be affected with a brown lawn or dying flower beds.
Many tenancy agreements today may include a clause regarding garden maintenance, Landlords / Agents may find that during times of pro-longed hot weather these clauses can become a grey area of responsibility. “Maintenance” (the process of preserving a condition or situation or the state of being preserved.) could be argued to preserve the outside space as when first rented, this may include weeding, watering, cutting etc. however using the terminology used in some insurance documents could it be claimed “An act of God” (an instance of uncontrollable natural forces in operation)? Meaning that the conditions would be beyond their control.
Some tenants love gardening (maybe they are making the most of the Strawberry crops this year) and it can be one of the things that attract them to your property, other tenants may love your property but want more of a care free garden. Many landlords may not think about discussing things like this with their tenants, communication is always the key to any business relationship. If you are concerned about how your rental property is looking in this heat wave then there are steps you could offer support to help prevent these things in future.
Some landlords may consider installing water-buts in the garden, a cost effective way to provide a solution to heatwaves like this, simply set up to the household guttering or an outbuilding such as a shed. Others may consider low maintenance garden options or possibly even artificial grass to maintain that kerb appeal. Whatever your opinions about garden space let us know in the forum.