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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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Hello. I have a bit of a weird one. Usually my landlord and

Customer Question

Hello. I have a bit of a weird one. Usually my landlord and agent are quite friendly and ok and friendly. However, they insist it is our responsibility to prune and trim a tree at the garden.

The tree is a huge Rowan tree which is really tall and I have had quotes ranging from £140 to £240 plus VAT. Normally I wouldn't bother as the tree is high enough not to cause problems to passers by, neighbours or us. However, late autumn and winter all the berries drop and they are messy. They get squashed on our shoes when we garden, turn the grass trimmings to mulch when we mow, make raking leaves sticky and difficult. More importantly they are falling on the neighbours front garden. Their front is very expensively done and its all wooden decking and ornaments but now looks like a fruit market! Theyre nice enough to lop off some of the overhanging branches and haven't yet complained but I am sure there's a limit to their patience!

I have spoken to the Agents during inspections and they have maintained apparently it is our responsibility. Bearing in mind they made us pay for glass to be replaced which was damaged by stones from the road and the agreement states we pay for this if it was our fault or negligence or those of our visitors.

The agreement in one clause states "to keep the garden... if any in the same condition and style as at the commencement of the Tenancy" and "to keep... in good order and weeded". Yet in another clause it says "not to lop, prune, remove or destroy any existing plants, trees or shrubs, unless it is required to keep the garden in good order without the written consent of the Landlord or the Agent which will not be unreasonably withheld".

My question is does this meet the test of reasonableness? I am usually quite a hands on tenant meaning I will do most jobs myself unless it is beyond me. Can it be expected for me to pay that amount to maintain the tree, particularly as the tree itself isn't the main problem but the berries? If I could do it I would, but seems like this is one of those things you have to pay a professional! Your help is greatly appreciated!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name is Tony, and I should be able to assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Can you clarify for me please whether the landlord is refusing to allow you to do anything with the trees concerned?

JACUSTOMER-unj2t13e- : Thank you. The agent has informed us, during informal discussions, that we are responsible for the tree, at our own expense but it is something I can't do mysekf (the tree is too high) and experts are too expensive
tdlawyer :

You could argue that "keeping in good condition and weeded" does not extend to cutting back large trees, and I doubt it was intended to mean that anyway. This type of clause is usually about keeping things tidy, and in good order, and removing trees or seriously curtailing them is, I expect, beyond the scope of that type of clause.

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