Who's responsible for the rental property's garden maintenance is one of the top tenant questions we get asked by property investors and tenants alike. Fortunately, the Residential Tenancies Act of 1986 clearly outlines everyone's responsibilities.
Tenant Responsibilities for Garden
So what are the tenant's garden maintenance responsibilities? Tenants are responsible for keeping the property reasonably tidy and clean until the end of their tenancy, including the garden, according to Section 40 of the Residential Tenancies Act.
However, unless the tenancy agreement specifies otherwise, tenants are only responsible for mowing the lawn and weeding the garden. If a renter wants to do more with the garden, they must first get permission from the landlord in writing before removing or cutting any trees, bushes, or hedges on the property.
We recommend you provide guidance on mowing frequency in the residential tenancy agreement and examine the garden regularly during your quarterly property inspections. When a well-kept lawn is neglected during the tenancy, mowing it at the conclusion will not restore it to its original state, because weeds and wild grass will have established.
At Quinovic, our team take the additional step of meeting with new tenants before the tenancy begins at the key handover to ensure tenants understand what's expected, and important sections of the agreement can be discussed.
Landlord Responsibilities for Garden
Because some plants may require special care, skill, or knowledge, outside of mowing and weeding, landlords are responsible for any other rental property gardening needs, such as pruning and removing trees, bushes, and hedges. This is in place to protect tenant interests, as tenants are responsible for any damage to the property that they may cause, whether intentionally or unintentionally. For example, if a tenant damages a hedge or tree, they may need to compensate the landlord for the loss.
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.
Have a Safeguard - Hire a Gardener
Hiring a gardener is an excellent option for landlords. It guarantees that the lawn and garden are kept up to your standards, and it's a courtesy that your tenants will enjoy and greatly appreciate.
Make it clear what the gardener's responsibilities are when you hire them. Before hiring, check to confirm you understand what the gardener's service options actually encompass to avoid any misunderstandings about what is and is not included. Their 'garden maintenance' service, for example, may just comprise of mowing, trimming hedges, and weeding, but not caring for plants and flowers.
When advertising your rental property, highlight that the gardens and lawns are maintained by a gardener. This is a great selling point that will interest potential renters when they are deciding between properties.
Just in Case...
During the tenancy, any aspect of the property has the potential of being damaged in some way. Whether you hire a gardener or determine the garden is the tenant's responsibility, taking pre-tenancy photos of the entire property and garden is crucial.
At the beginning of the tenancy, our Quinovic team captures hundreds of photos recording the condition of the property, plus additional photos of any concerns at our quarterly property inspections. If the tenant's bond is required at the end of the tenancy, final inspection photos are compared with these images, demonstrating to tenants why their bond is needed.
If you would like to chat about the possibility of working together, or to receive a no-obligation, FREE Rental Appraisal get in touch with our team today.
Locally owned and managed, we offer residential property management services across Wellington & Hutt Valley.
We take care of investments, offering peace of mind and a personal service to investors and tenants alike. Our solutions are backed by industry-leading technology and proven systems that promote both excellent property care and strong investment returns. Taking on all aspects of the landlord’s role, we guide our clients with professional, tailored advice using our extensive experience and insight in the rental market that can only be built over time.
Quinovic Johnsonville | Wellington
Call Jordan Atkinson - 027 297 0873
Quinovic Hutt Valley | Wellington
Call Helen Vance - 027 487 8103
Quinovic Kent Terrace | Wellington
Call Jordan Atkinson - 027 297 0873
Quinovic Property Management Wellington