Who’s Responsible for the Garden?

Who is responsible for the maintenance of a rental property’s garden? The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 provides detail of who is responsible for each task.


Tenant’s Responsibilities

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants are responsible for keeping the property reasonably tidy and clean until the end of their tenancy – this includes the garden. Unless the landlord states otherwise in the tenancy agreement, tenants are only expected to mow the lawn and weed the garden. If a tenant wants to do more to the garden, they must first receive written consent from the landlord before removing or pruning trees, shrubs or hedges on the property. The tenancy agreement should state the frequency of mowing required and the lawn should be inspected regularly.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

Landlords are responsible for any gardening required other than mowing and weeding, such as pruning and removing trees, shrubs, or hedges. This is because some plants may require special care, skill, or knowledge. This is enforced to protect tenant interests, because under law tenants are responsible for any damage to the property they may cause intentionally or carelessly. If the tenant damages a tree, they may be required to compensate the landlord so it is best to avoid this situation entirely. Landlords are also responsible for ensuring the property is safe under the Residential Tenancies Act, which includes making sure all the trees, hedges and shrubs are safe, away from power lines, and not likely to fall on tenants.

Hiring a Professional?

Hiring a gardener can be a great option for ensuring the garden of your rental property is looked after. It is important to check what their service options actually entail, as there can be misunderstandings on what is included and excluded. Be specific about what is the gardener’s responsibility. Also ensure your advertising mentions that the gardens and lawns are maintained by a gardener. This is a good selling point and could weigh in your favour with tenants trying to decide between several properties.