Tenants and garden care..

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  • Tenants and garden care..
  • Before you all turn on me with your bits of 4×2 and your pitchforks, I’m not a buy to let landlord, just renting out my house while we rent a larger one.

    It’s got a nice garden. Nice well kept lawn. I’m expecting the worst standards of garden care from my tenants, but wondered if I should provide a lawnmower?

    The letting agent says I should either provide one and get it PAT tested yearly or knock £50-100 off the first months rent for them to buy one with.

    Is this normal?

    cchris2lou
    Member

    Yes I think you need to provide one. Was the case when we tried to rent our house.

    Premier Icon xora
    Subscriber

    Ive never had rented house came with garden tools!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    50/50, some came with a lawnmower, some didn’t.

    All came with a line in the contract that basically holds the garden to the same standards as the house, i.e. it’s cleaned/gardened to an acceptable level. Which pretty much meant grass cut, borders dug over, hedges kept neat and perennials pruned.

    If not the deposit got withheld and they sent the gardeners in.

    m0rk
    Member

    If you provide it, you’ll end up maintaining it. And buying a new one when they leave it in the rain.

    When I rented I always brought my own with me (or bought one initially)

    Are you getting a mower or £150 off your 1st months rent? No? Well neither do they!

    gearfreak
    Member

    If you provide one its your responsibility to ensure it is safe and maintained, and replaced if it breaks. (Probably a nightmare with a lawnmower)

    I wouldn’t bother, it’s their responsibility to maintain the garden. If you are worried it won’t be maintained properly and this will affect the future value you’ll have to pop round and maintain it once a month at your expense.

    I’m actually happy to nip round there and mow the lawn every couple of weeks, it’s a small area, 20 minute job. I’d rather do that than face having a jungle every time the tenants move out.

    ads678
    Member

    I don’t provide one with mine. I consider it their house while they are renting it and if they want to live in a nice looking house they need to mow the lawn. If they don’t want to mow a lawn they should rent a different house.

    I don’t provide one with mine. I consider it their house while they are renting it and if they want to live in a nice looking house they need to mow the lawn. If they don’t want to mow a lawn they should rent a different house.

    I agree. But you cannot force them to keep it tidy.

    natrix
    Member

    I provide a lawn mower and a few gardening tools, I don’t get it PAT tested yearly though. Does he suggest that all of your electrical appliances are PAT tested yearly???

    I provide a lawn mower and a few gardening tools, I don’t get it PAT tested yearly though. Does he suggest that all of your electrical appliances are PAT tested yearly???

    He says only the mobile/movable ones should be PAT tested??

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Of course he does, and offers to provide the service at just £88.23+vat per appliance. Letting agents, innit. 🙄

    Edit: they’re right of course, stuff should be PAT tested. Also if you include stuff like lawn mowers and microwaves etc, or provide gardening services yourself, it can cause other issues down the line. If a tenant makes a claim for housing benefit, they will pay out only for the rent on the property, not on rent of appliances, or services provided, which will have to be itemised separately on a HB claim.

    avdave2
    Member

    I always used to find after 6 or so cans of Extra I did t give a shit about the state of the garden myself.

    ads678
    Member

    I agree. But you cannot force them to keep it tidy.

    Totally agree, but thats up to them. Hopefully if you get decent tenants in they’ll look after the garden, but thats the rental lottery I suppose…

    hooli
    Member

    I wouldn’t expect it.

    cbike
    Member

    Schedule PA Testing appropriate to your use. Could be every two years, could be every week what ever you think is justified.
    Fridges and washing machines are not really portable. kettle and lawnmower would be. Id test the mower every few months. The kettle, once a year.
    You do not need a machine to do this.

    Letting agencies may have other ideas though and you may have to abide by the agreement you have with them and their contractors.

    Of course he does, and offers to provide the service at just £88.23+vat per appliance. Letting agents, innit

    In fairness to the agent, his advice was to knock money off the first months rent if they don’t have a mower for them to buy one.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    I was told that if you don’t then they have no responsibility to mow the lawn. simples. provide one and the expectation is they will use it, don’t and then its up to them if they want to do it.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    TBH, I would be having that conversation before I moved in…”What d’you want me to do in the Garden?”

    I’m just using the agent to find a tenant then managing the let myself, so I will get to meet the tenants. I guess I can talk to them then, and if they don’t have a mower, come to some arrangement.

    duffle
    Member

    Fridges and washing machines are not really portable.

    Thought it was more…..not hard wired therefore anything with a plug essentially.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Easiest solution, would probably have been to add £20 or so to the monthly rent and got someone in to do the grass.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I’m actually happy to nip round there and mow the lawn every couple of weeks, it’s a small area, 20 minute job. I’d rather do that than face having a jungle every time the tenants move out.

    Will you also pop in once a week to hoover the carpets, wash the windows and clean the hair from the plughole?

    It’s a rental, and this is what the deposit is for if they do let it get out of hand.

    I was told that if you don’t then they have no responsibility to mow the lawn. simples. provide one and the expectation is they will use it, don’t and then its up to them if they want to do it.

    Pretty sure that must be wrong. The hoover analogy, you’d not expect the landlord to provide a hoover or a mop and to accept dirty floors when it’s handed back if they didn’t?

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    I’ve always provided one, but if you want to move back in and have a garden that looks anything like the one you left I’d go with the suggestion above to arrange a gardener and include them in the rent. My current tenants are great and are really looking after the garden, previous ones not so much. The work required to restore a garden that’s become riddled with bind weed, ground elder, nettles and brambles is going to take a huge chunk of deposit, plus time to put right. Better not to let it happen in the first place.

    goldfish24
    Member

    The work required to restore a garden…

    Quite. The house I own now is ex-rental and after three years im still pulling shoots of grass out of the flower beds. There’s a hilarious picture on zoopla from a few years back of my (now beautiful) garden looking like full on rental jungle.

    agent007
    Member

    Personally I doubt your tenants will thank you for popping over every week to mow the lawn, they need to have the right to enjoy the property in privacy without undue interference from the landlord. If you’re that worried about the garden, get a gardener to give it a once over every month and include this as part of the rent.

    cranberry
    Member

    Easiest solution, would probably have been to add £20 or so to the monthly rent and got someone in to do the grass.

    +100

    If I were to let a place out the rent would be priced to cover a cleaner for a few hours every couple of weeks/keeping the garden maintained. It makes things far easier for the tenant, means that you have no worries and also the tenants know that someone you know will be popping in regularly – encouraging them to keep things as they should be kept.

    I’ve rented two properties where the owner came round and tidied the garden up.

    I got the impression they were gardeners, and liked it being maintained there particularly way. A tenant may or may not be into that sort of thing, so could well just do the minimum.

    I’d go round every now and again if you are both happy with it, saves lots of hassle and expense for everyone.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I would not expect tenants to look after a garden beyond occasional lawn mow. Yes, provide a mower, but also employ a gardener. Do not expect house or garden to be as well kept as you do.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    @Duffle the clue is in the Portable bit. Desktop PCs and microwaves can be tested less frequently too as there is an expectation that they are normally static.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    This is an interesting topic for me. Our shoe is on the other foot, and it’s a size 13 belter. We are about to enter a letting agreement for a house with LOADS of lawn; sit on mower territory. Ironic seeing as I only bought a cordless Lidl mower a month ago. I don’t think it’s going to cut the mustard somehow. There’s no mower included, and I can’t afford to go out and buy a mower of sufficient heftiness straight away, what with all the fees, deposit and purchasing of a cooker and curtains and stuff. The place has been empty for six months, and is owned by a country estate; would it be unreasonable to ask them to continue whatever arrangement they had in place to mow the grass whilst it was unoccupied?

    DrJ
    Member

    Do not expect house or garden to be as well kept as you do.

    This. When you rent out your house I don’t think it’s realistic to think you can move back in and it be like you never left. This goes down the Holland path where landlords expect you to paint and decorate before you return the keys.

    alanl
    Member

    Regarding ‘PAT testing’.
    It isnt just portable appliances that are to be checked, it is anything connected to the permananent elecrical installation. That includes bathroom fans, air-con units on roofs, anything that can be plugged in,basically anything that is not part of the fixed installation, but can be used by an occupier.

    Whether it is worth checking some equipment is down to what the risk is for that equipment, as stated earlier in this thread. Washing machines/fridges – is it worth checking them regularly – built-in ones, I’d say no, as there is very little chance for them to deteriorate. A freezer in a shed, with the cable run along the floor and people walking on it when they enter, then yes, that would need checking occaisonally.

    Also, test frequency. Every year? Every 2 years? There is no set time. It is all down to the equipment that is being inspected. Lawnmower – -quite possibly every 2 weeks in the summer, as they are prone to having the cable nipped by the blades. A bathroom fan – once every 5 years?
    It is up to the Owner/occupier/dutyholder to say when they are tested. The Inspector/Tester has no say at all on when things should be tested. There is now no ‘Next Test Due’ sticker for tested items – you can put a sticker on if you want, but it should not contain a ‘next test date’.Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a sticker, there should be a Register of Assets, and the results recoreded on that, so there is a paper trail if needed.

    There are some really dodgy practices with this type of Inspection/Testing, and lots of Companies spouting bull*hit about the requirements.

    myti
    Member

    V8ninety you could certainly ask whoever was maintaining your new garden to continue but expect to pay for it as it’s your garden now. Renting a place should be no different to buying in the respect of if you can’t afford the place and everything it entails don’t buy/rent it.

    Saying that I rent a property out and I go round and do the grass once a month as it’s all quite steep and needs a strimmer but I do that because I want to keep the garden in a reasonable state as it was my home and I care about my neighbours who shouldn’t have to live next to a mess.

    jambalaya
    Member

    The only way the garden will be maintained properly is if you have a gardener. Either you pay for one or the tennets do and its a condition of the lease. I have been both a tennet and a landlord. You cannot expect a tennet to provide a mower imo.

    project
    Member

    are not tenanted gardens a repository for all the cra tennts bring with them and dont want, old furniture,,cookers, fridges, beer cans, rusty bq, etc, then add in empty beer and wine cans and botles, you really have no need for a lawnmover, just beaware of newly dug soil someone or something may be buried below.

    Premier Icon nickdavies
    Subscriber

    This thread has just reminded me to go and look at my garden. As I haven’t touched it since moving in last summer.
    😳 grass actually looks like it’s taller than me.

    I’d never expect a lawnmower as a tenant, I’d expect to provide my own and I haven’t got one at the moment as it was nicked by my brother years ago – but if the landlord had provided one I’d have mown the grass a lot earlier!

    Cheap push mower. No pat testing, doesn’t care if left in the rain and a serious workout if not done frequently. Having been a skint tenant before, I’d be unamused at having to buy a mower I might have no use for when it’s time to move.

    Keva
    Member

    I rent and the landlord employs a gardener to come round to keep it nice and tidy. simples. saves me a job and saves me having a lawnmower taking up valuable shed space where I keep my bikes 🙂

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