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  • Deposit Protection

    Case study - a dispute about gardening

    Each month the Tenancy Deposit Scheme takes a recent decision by an adjudicator and sets out the reasoning behind the decision. It's a really useful resource to help landlords think like an adjudicator from the start of the tenancy - if you want peace, prepare for dispute!

    Our March edition looks at a landlord who claimed £200 because the garden had not been properly maintained, but the tenants claimed it was not their obligation to look after the garden.

    Awards made:
    Landlord: £150
    Tenant: £50


    You can read the details of the dispute and reasons for the decision on our blog - http://blog.tds.gb.com/blog/down-in-the-weeds/ and look at Adjudication Digest library on our website: http://www.tds.gb.com/adjudication-digest.html
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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for this.

    I think it is also worth mentioning that the property inventory & schedule of condition should include OUTSIDE the property, as well as inside.

    Imfuna, the digital inventory app, have a good blog on this topic >>> here.

    Key points about gardens:

    i) Ensure all properties with a garden contain a clause in the AST detailing the tenant’s obligations to keep it neat and tidy. Alternatively, arrange for a regular gardening and lawn mowing service and factor this cost into the rent.

    ii) Provide a detailed check-in inventory with clear photos, including outside areas of the property, preferably done by a professional third party as these tend to be more detailed and are carried out by qualified individuals. Ensure it is signed by the tenant.

    iii) Keep invoices for any gardening company used to tidy up a garden at the start, if appropriate, and end of a tenancy.

    iv) Carry out regular inspections of the property, to ensure the garden is being maintained especially over a lengthy tenancy.
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    I have a tenant in a house, he is in his third year of his AST. His intention is to buy three house from me however only time will tell of this will happen or not.

    I inspected the property yesterday and the condition of the property is not the same as when the property was handed over to him, it is showing a lot of damage and excessive wear and tear, he had two dogs a cat, two children and the property is a quaint cottage which really should only accommodate 2-3 people max.

    The garden is ok but the gutters and down pipes need to be cleaned out, does anyone know if this is down to me as a landlord or would the tenant have to look after everything including the garden and gutters and down pipes ?

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    The tenancy agreement should set out who is responsible for what but, according to this video, it is likely to be the landlord.

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