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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70528
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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When renting a property (house in North London) is the Landlord

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When renting a property (house in North London) is the Landlord also responsible for maintaining the garden? We have an issue with this and other issues regarding house maintenance which we have reported to Haringuey Council.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
When you say maintaining the garden, do you mean mowing the lawn or doing really serious work like tree pruning?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Mowing the lawn and general clearance. The residents (4) have no equipment to maintain the front and back gardens. They inherited a dreadful mess including several pieces of scrap articles which they repeatedly asked the landlord to remove. The garden has been strimmed and a piece of false grass has been laid to cover the mud bath that they inherited. Residents have complained about the lack of maintenance to the front, but they do not possess any equipment to maintain it. The landlord has asked them to deal with it yet he did not do anything to clear the garden before they arrived. This has been going on for several months.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
It does depend upon what is in your contract on the point but almost certainly this will be the position.
As a rule tenants are responsible for the maintenance of the garden to the extent of things like mowing the lawn. Obviously if much more expensive and complicated work, such as the cutting of high trees, is required that falls within the remit of the landlord.
However, this is not a maintenance issue. This is a disrepair and issue because the property was in that position when you moved in. If so, the landlord cannot ask you to deal with it. At least, he can ask what he likes but you do not have to agree.
This is the type of disrepair that isn't going to interest environmental health unless there is actually some form of infestation. The practical reality is that the only way you could enforce this against the landlord is to warn him that you intend to pay a gardener or a refuge collection supplier to put right the garden and remove any refuge and sue for the cost. That might well be all that you need to do. If it still fails then you are left with the option of taking that action and suing to recover or withholding from rents but I would never advise the latter course of action.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So to be absolutely clear - the residents , in a way, are in a state of "impasse"? As in, they could insist that he deals with the garden, because of the state in which it was in when they first moved, but he is under no real obligation to do so. It is really this word "maintenance".; as in, because the garden was not "maintained" when they moved in, he could be liable to "make good" in retrospect? But I gather that this would be difficult to enforce? Is this a correct summary? - Sorry, I just need to know how far we can push. He is a totally unscrupulous man and this is one of many many battles.!

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
No. He should put the garden right. We are dealing with realities though rather than legal obligations and the reality is that he may not.
If he does not, then your only options are either to live with it or do the work yourself and sue for the cost.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much. This man is the worst landlord we have ever had to deal with - and we have dealt with probably 20 different ones in our time!

I shall see what we can do.

Incidentally, this has been a very good service. Thank you again.

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/
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