Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property
Nick

Landlord query

Our tenant has been in situ for a year or so, maybe more, says the beech hedge in the garden is now too over grown for her to cut back. She wants me to do it. Reckon it's my job?

And, furthermore, the neighbour is worried its so big the roots will damage the sewer, and wants it removed. Is this even likely? I have no idea how big the hedge is, to be honest, as I haven't been there in a couple of years.

I'm happy to continue being a great landlord, but don't want someone taking the mick, so I'm crowd sourcing your opinions, please.
Pilsbury

J would say if the upkeep off the house and gardens was their responsibility then they should of kept it trimmed to a managable size, if tey didnt its down t tuem to pay someone to come in and reduce the size, as for the roots, no idea....
onemanband

Re: Landlord query


And, furthermore, the neighbour is worried its so big the roots will damage the sewer, and wants it removed. Is this even likely?


Unlikely unless either the sewer is very close to the surface and allmost touching the stumps / large roots ........ or if the sewer is allready broken or in poor condition (and also within reach of the roots). Maybe the neighbour is concerned about their view/daylight and looking for a legitimate reason for it to be removed. Ignore unless there is actually a problem with the drains.
Jamanda

Beech are very shallow rooted. That's all I can add to the conversation.
marigold

Is it a boundary hedge? If so, I think you should maintain it as you would if the boundary was marked by a wall or fence. If it's a garden feature and the lease says the tenant is responsible for maintenance, then it's their responsibility. In the latter case I imagine it would be within the tenant's rights to have it removed altogether.

If they are generally good tenants weigh up the cost of hedge-cutting vs reletting.

(Opinions of course, I'm not qualified to give legal advice Smile )

My landlord maintains the lawns in my garden, though my rent isn't any higher than standard for the area, but you could presumably increase the rent to cover garden maintenance costs if it's possible with the terms of the lease.
Shan

I would say it is the tenants responsibility. We rent and our hedges are all our responsibility.
12Bore

What does it say in the tenancy agreement?
Hairyloon

Is it furnished, or unfurnished?
If furnished, did you provide hedge trimmers? I think that if you expect her to trim the hedge, then you should.

However big it is, I can't see why she cannot trim this years growth off the sides. The top may of course be more of an issue.

Generally, I would say that trimming is maintenance, and the tenant's responsibility, but cutting back is remedial, and the landlord's: how badly overgrown was it when she moved in?
Nick

I haven't looked at my agreement, tbh. It's unfurnished. It's a boundary hedge. It wasn't overgrown when she moved in.

Opinions still welcome.
RichardW

If they have been cutting / trimming it two or three times per year (as you would expect to do to keep it at the same heigh as it was when they moved in) & the growth has still go away from them then I think you should get it done.

If however they have not been doing it that often & it is clearly in the rental agreement that the maintenance of the garden is down to them then they should do it at their cost.

Would you get a gardener in to cut the grass if they had not done it for 3 years so their household mower could not cope?
Piggyphile

If it is practical then go and see it for yourself and talk to them directly, there may be some compromise available.
If they move out and it is huge you will have to get it sorted anyway.
If they want something else, and it is ok as a hedge then either say no if you like it or let them pay for a alternative that you (and the neighbour on that side) like.

Beech hedges are not to every ones taste, they are bare in winter, dump leaves everywhere in Autumn and need trimming. Are the renters elderly? Disabled?

They might have a good reason for letting it get neglected, it is not always just about money....
Nick

It's a hundred miles away. The tenant isn't hard up, nor old or disabled. My feeling is she's done nothing with it for a year or so, now I get to deal with it.

I also trust the agent down there, and I'll speak to him, but he might tell me to pay for it, for a quiet life.
toggle

IMO, your tennant is taking the whotsit.

having lived in a multitude of rented places, I'd put hedge trimming and mowing and stuff like that alongside hoovering the floor and cleaning the sink. it's the stuff you do to keep the place reasonable and for your own enjoyment of a decent living space. i've cleared gardens where previous tennants had done nothing with tools borrowed off the neighbours because although it wasn't my 'mess' it was my home and I wanted it done.

and if you don't want to do that, then don't live somewhere with a garden.
Jamanda

Beech hedges are not bare in Winter. That's one of the reasons they are good for stock, becasue their leaves stay on (albeit brown and dead) and so provide a wind break. They are good for over wintering moths too.
Hairyloon

My feeling is she's done nothing with it for a year or so, now I get to deal with it.

To be fair, you have not looked at it for a few more years than that...
What it was like when she moved in is a relevant issue.
I think the height is relevant as well: I'm not sure it is fair to expect a tenant to have to work from a ladder.
Quote:
I also trust the agent down there, and I'll speak to him, but he might tell me to pay for it, for a quiet life.

I may be inclined to agree this time, but nail it down for the future: either be sure the tenant is responsible, else put the rent up.
Nick

No, I've been there within 2-3 years. We haven't owned it much longer. I don't remember it specifically, but it's not a big garden, so it wouldn't have been very unruly.

I'll check the agreement and see.
Mistress Rose

If the sewers are old, it is possible for beech roots to get in. A large copper beech made a takeover bid for the sewer at our first house before we moved into it, but was cleared and the sewer replaced. The house and sewer were put in about 1870 though. If it is a modern plastic and unjointed sewer, then far less risk. Hairyloon

No, I've been there within 2-3 years. We haven't owned it much longer.
If she's been there a year and a bit, and you've not been there for 2-3 years, then that's longer... and if you're anything like me, then the 2-3 years you remember may actually be 3-4. Confused
And it is often surprising how much a hedge can grow in a couple of years.
Quote:
I don't remember it specifically, but it's not a big garden, so it wouldn't have been very unruly.

If it's not a big garden, then it can't be a big hedge, so it shouldn't be a big deal either way.
Hairyloon

If the sewers are old, it is possible for beech roots to get in. A large copper beech made a takeover bid for the sewer at our first house...
This is a hedge, not a tree.
Point being that when you trim the shoots, the roots tend to die back to match.
Nick

House is less than thirty years old. Kariana

Whatever your agreement says I think you should ask your agent to go round and take a picture of the hedge do you can see it for yourself. Also they should speak to the neighbour about their concerns for the sewers. Perhaps if they've been there a long time they have more reason for their concern, or perhaps the hedge has caused problems before.

As for what state the hedge was in at the beginning of the tenancy, usually the agent would have some pictures that they used to advertise the property so perhaps you could look at those for comparison. If the hedge was particularly high at the start and would require a ladder to cut down then I don't think it's really fair to expect the tenant to either do this or pay for it. On the other hand if it was originally a reasonable height and they've let it get out of hand you could do it this once but make it clear that it's their responsibility to keep it in check in future and if it isn't maintained at the end of the tenancy you will deduct it from their deposit.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home