Looking after the garden

If you rent a property with a garden make sure you check your tenancy agreement to see if garden maintenance is your responsibility. If you don’t look after your garden then you could face a deduction to your deposit when you move out.

Here are our five top tips to help avoid a deposit dispute:

  1. Check your inventory as soon as you move in. Make sure the condition of the garden is properly recorded and there are photographs. If not, update what has been written in the inventory, take some photographs and send them to your landlord or agent. Keep this information somewhere safe for your own records.
    • Why? Unless your monthly payments include garden maintenance, you will be responsible for returning the garden in the same condition when you move out.
  2. Your landlord does not have to provide the tools required to maintain the garden. Some will but others won’t, so make sure you check what you need at the start of your tenancy.
    • Why? There is no rule on whether tools should be provided even if your property is furnished. You won’t be able to dispute any deduction made to the deposit just because tools were not provided throughout your tenancy.
  3. Gardens have a habit of growing very quickly during the spring and summer months so make an effort to keep it under control at regular intervals.
    • Why? Stubborn weeds can be a nightmare to get rid of and difficult to keep away. Regular attention will keep the garden in good order throughout the tenancy. It is also far more cost effective than having to pay for all the work in one go at the end of the tenancy.
  4. Keep an eye out for potentially destructive species of plant that could cause problems for the property. One such species is Japanese Knotweed, it grows very rapidly and can break through stone, brick, concrete and even metal posing a serious risk to the property you’re living in.
    • Why? If you notice this plant growing you should inform your landlord as soon as possible, as once identified it should be professionally removed to prevent further spread and damage
  5. When you move out, review the check in report and make sure you leave the garden in the same condition it was when you moved in. This could be challenging depending on what time of year you move.
    • Why? If you move in during the summer, and move out one year later, the garden should obviously look the same; however if you move out in the winter, the garden will be a different seasonal condition but this does not relieve you of your responsibility i.e. if it was ‘neatly trimmed, lawn mowed’ on check in, that will be the condition it needs to be returned in so think about it well ahead of time or be prepared to pay reasonable costs from your deposit in order to put it right.