Communial Garden.

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    Communial Garden.

    Hi there just looking for some advise. I have bought a lease to a Maisonette. The Landlord is Council. I have a balcony over looking a small communal garden who I share with my neighbour. My neighbour has not long moved in, she has been living below me for around 3 months. She is showing no signs of showing an interest in the garden, she does not even sit in the garden. She is a healthy young lady who has a baby, she lives alone. In my lease and according to the council, we have use of the garden for recreational purposes, such as sitting out in the garden, reading, etc.but we are not duty bound to tend to the garden, this is in my Lease, and the Council confirmed this. I do not think that this is fair, so my husband cuts the grass. My husband told my neighbour that she can borrow our lawnmower at anytime, save her having to buy one. My neighbour is showing no interest in tending to the garden at all. If my husband does not cut the grass and keep it tidy, my neighbour will just let it grow wild. We did tell her that we are not obligated to cut the grass but feel that it is fair that we help because we share the garden. She thanked us and that was it, she has never approached the subject when hubby or I have been cutting the grass. I feel that it is not fair for her not to take her turn or keep it nice. Before she moved in, an old lady of 83 used to tend to all of the shrubs and cut the grass. I am 62, so why can a young person not help? It is not a large garden. I do not want to sit out in the garden with thigh high grass. Any advice?

    #2
    People have different interests in their life. They will usually engage in activites which they are interested in.

    Football fans will show support for their home team and do not mind spending their money on travelling to away matches.

    Perhaps your neighbour is not a garden person.

    Comment


      #3
      That is no excuse. We are not really garden people either, but we do not want it looking like a tip simply because she just does not want to do her share. She knew that her maisonette had a communal garden when she took the maisonette on, if she is not interested in the garden she should of took on a place without one. It is not a case if she is a garden person or not, but a case of her being fair. Anything that goes wrong in that garden, such as a fence being broke, or when the council replaced the whole tall gate, which cost us 350 odd quid because we bought the lease and she rents from the council, hardly seems fair that we should be the only ones who tend to the garden such as cutting the grass and a tidy. Our balcony looks over the garden and the view is lovely, this is one of the reasons we bought the lease. Now somebody moves in and cannot be bothered to even keep it tidy is not on.

      Comment


        #4
        Welcome to communal living. At least in our case, there is a clause in the lease allowing the freeholder (and service charge) to take this on, if the leaseholders don't do it, but we also cannot get most of the tenants to even help put the refuse bins out for collection (or for that matter put things in any other than the nearest, overflowing, bin. Hiring someone to put out the bins would be disproportionate.

        You will just have to accept that people will freeload as there really is very little you can do, if they consider it beneath their dignity to help the community. if the are PRS tenants, I expect you to have even less luck with their landlords.

        One thing though, if the lease really doesn't provide for maintaining the garden it is probably defective, although fixing it may be more costly that it is worth.

        Comment


          #5
          Is the young lady working? I find that the younger generation, whether landlord, tenant, or owner occupier will claim after the day job and looking after the family, they have no time for the community.

          Comment


            #6
            She may be a rental tenant and not the owner of the flat. she lives in.

            Since she is a single mother for her baby and living alone without support from a father , she may think her existing life is a heavy burden without having to struggle with a lawn mower.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by derry61 View Post
              I have a balcony over looking a small communal garden who I share with my neighbour. My neighbour has not long moved in, she has been living below me for around 3 months. She is showing no signs of showing an interest in the garden, she does not even sit in the garden.
              So, your neighbour apparently doesn't want to use the garden at all, and has no interest in doing so?


              Originally posted by derry61 View Post
              In my lease and according to the council, we have use of the garden for recreational purposes, such as sitting out in the garden, reading, etc.but we are not duty bound to tend to the garden, this is in my Lease, and the Council confirmed this.
              A more important consideration is whether or not the rental lease that your neighbour has gives them any obligation to tend the garden. Does it?
              Does your lease say anything about who, if anyone, does have an obligation to tend the garden?


              Originally posted by derry61 View Post
              I do not want to sit out in the garden with thigh high grass. Any advice?
              Carry on cutting the grass and tending the garden.

              If you want to use the garden, but only if it is being maintained, and your neighbour shows no interest in either using or maintaining the garden, your course of action should be clear.
              Trying to force your neighbour to spend time maintaining a garden that they have no interest in using, because you want to use a maintained garden, will just create a bad relationship between you.

              Comment


                #8
                If they are a shorthold tenant, it is even less likely that they will care about the communal areas. Overgrown front gardens (assuming there is any garden left) in nearby maisonettes, and even houses, are a good clue that all the residents are renters).

                You are probably lucky that the children are not disrupting your recreation with noisy play. The lease may say no games, but their landlords aren't going to enforce that against their tenants.

                As has been hinted, there is a good chance that the rental agreement says nothing about maintaining the garden. Actually there is a good chance it doesn't even mention being allowed to use it. A lot of landlords seem to use off the shelf agreements, which are not suitable when there is any communal element. To that extent, it is there landlord who is being selfish.

                I'd agree that they are in breach of their moral obligations, but is basically the baby bulge generation that has to do the work to keep up the communal values. You are not going to change societal attitudes on your own.

                (My feeling is that the lack of security of tenure tenants means that tenants feel no commitment to where they live, and owner occupiers are an endangered species, and often too frail to do the work themselves, as they age out of the housing market.)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                  Is the young lady working? I find that the younger generation, whether landlord, tenant, or owner occupier will claim after the day job and looking after the family, they have no time for the community.
                  Hi there, thank you for your reply. No she is not working. The garden is shared just by my husband and I, with the lady downstairs.It is not a big garden, I manage to cut the grass with no trouble and I am 62, so I really cannot see why she does not do her share. I had 2 children small with a much bigger garden and always kept the grass cut when I lived alone. My husband when he last cut the grass, said that there was a small bucket over flowing with ciggy ends, which were blown all over the garden. Not nice for us when we want to sit out in the garden. I may phone the council to see what they say. They may send her a letter informing her that it is part of her tenancy agreement to keep the garden tidy, which it will be.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You really have two choices:

                    1. Ignore this and make peace with the the fact you will be the only ones working on the garden. Ask neighbour it be mindful with cigarette ends. Enjoy good neighbourly relations despite the imbalance in gardening.

                    2. Push her, push the council, create inevitable tension and unpleasant neighbourly relations, and still 99% chance of having to do the gardening yourselves.

                    It's frustrating you are doing all the work, but as it is a small garden you may find it is far more pleasant and far less stressful in the long term to just let this slide. After all you are living next to this person for the foreseeable future.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      leaseholder64,

                      On my lease it says, that the use of the garden for tenants to my maisonette is for recreational use and clothes drying only, but not for the purpose of playing games or for any other purpose.I would think that it would be in her council tenant agreement to keep the garden tidy, it has been in mine when I was a council tenant. To be honest as for a child playing in the garden, that would not bother me in the least. My husband and I are under no obligation to cut the grass, but we do it because we feel that it is not fair to the other tenant for them to do it all, but here we are us doing it all. If we didn't the garden would be a tip.Also she has shrubs and conifers that are growing very high, so much so that they are blocking my view from my living room window. My husband does not expect her to cut them, but he will offer to do it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The lady has a flexi tenancy for 21 years because she has a child of under 1 years of age. This is what is in her council tenancy agreement. Now this would suggest when you read it that if the garden gets overgrown, the council can come and cut the grass and shrubs, but they will charge her for it, but also they will charge me, even though we are not obliged to cut the grass or do any garden work. here is what I got from my area from the council. You must keep the Property garden clean and tidy and the paths free from obstruction. You must maintain the garden, including hedges, fences, lawns and borders to the satisfaction of the Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services. You must not allow any hedge to grow more than 2 metres high or any lesser height as specified by us in writing 9.2 You must not use the garden to store rubbish, scrap or unsightly objects 9.3 You must obtain the Councils prior written permission before the erection or removal of garden structures (garage, greenhouse, shed, pond etc), fences, hedges and the planting or removal of trees, shrubs or bushes 9.4 Failure to maintain the garden may result in the Council, after giving 24 hours notice, entering the garden and carry out any necessary works to ensure that the tenancy conditions are met. You will be charged for the cost of such works 9.5 If the Property is on an open-plan estate the front must remain lawned. You must not plant anything or erect any structures, including fencing, on this area unless you have obtained the Councils prior written permission to do so. You must not park on or drive across any estate grassed verges, open areas or gardens 9.6 You must not remove or interfere with any trees, hedges or fencing that belong to the Council unless you have obtained the Councils prior written permission to do so 9.7 You must ensure that any structure or planting within the garden of the Property does not interfere with the public footpath, highway, entrance or exit to the Property or in anyway causes a nuisance or annoyance to adjoining occupiers

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You are still making assumptions about the other person's obligations, apparently without any real reason to treat these assumptions as correct.

                          If the garden is within the demise of the ground floor marionette it would be usual for there to be an obligation to maintain the garden. However, from what you have said, the garden does not seem to be demised to either marionette and is instead "communal property" belonging to the freehold but not to either dwelling.
                          Communal parts of a property are usually either the responsibility of the freeholder/landlord to maintain (with the cost shared between all leaseholders as part of a service charge) or the responsibility is shared by all leaseholders/tenants who have use.

                          Since your lease gives you the right to use the garden, but without any obligation to maintain it, why assume that the other lease is any different?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            eshroom,

                            Nope according to her tenancy agreement she is supposed to maintain the garden. I have posted it on here. We were actually told that because it is not in our lease to maintain the garden, it is not our job, but we would not expect her to do it all, that to me is not fair. If the council do go into the garden if it gets to overgrown and they do the work on it, we will also have to pay, just as we had to pay for a new fence and gate last year. It all seem's unfair.To be honest we did not know that the garden was communal until last year when we got charged for a new garden fence and gate. When we moved here we did not want the responsibility of a garden now that we are getting older. Our solicitor said that we were only responsible for the front garden, he must of meant not the back, but did not mention a back garden, so it never came up. The old lady who lived there over 20 years did not even know that the garden was communal, it is not an open garden, it has a fence all around. It really is like walking into somebody else,s back garden lol

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Macromia,

                              The Lady downstairs is a Council tenant. What I put up is her tenancy agreement. When I found out that the garden was communal, I phoned the council and asked if we were responsible to maintain it, they told me that we were not, but was the responsibility of their tenant below me. I have bought the lease to my maisonette so my lease is totally different.

                              Comment

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