Communial Garden.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by derry61 View Post
    How can we be asking her to help with the garden for our benefit?
    Because you want the garden to be maintained the way that YOU consider to be the way that it should be maintained.
    You say that you don't have to maintain the garden, which may well be true, but you have also previously said:
    "I do not want to sit out in the garden with thigh high grass."
    and now:
    "...and soon the other shrub would have blocked view from my living room window. The council also said that she is blocking the access for workman, window cleaners. My window cleaner did say to me that soon he will not be able to access the garden because of the over grown bushes, and many roses, thorns etc."
    So you do want the garden maintained for your benefit.

    I'm not suggesting that some of the benefits that you want aren't reasonable, particularly the benefit of having proper access available for workmen, including your window cleaner, but if the garden is demised to the other leaseholder it is up to them to decide how regularly they do any work on the garden, not you.

    As has already been said, all that you are likely to achieve here is to create a very poor relationship between the tenant and you and your husband.



    Originally posted by derry61 View Post
    Needless to say, my husband chopped all of the shrubs back, it took him 2 days to do. He also cut the grass again. This is when she started to use the garden. Strange that... Doing the garden was not just a case so that we can sit in it, but also for workmen and my window cleaner to be able to access to clean my windows. I did have a word with her about throwing all of her ciggy butts on the grass, as it is not fair when my hubby worked so hard to make it nice and accessible.
    What's "fair" is what seems to be the issue here. You want the garden maintained to the standard that you want (the cigarette butts being a perfect example), but you want her to at least share the work.
    That would be a fair arrangement, but there is no reason why the tenant should agree to it. If your husband chooses to do the work required to maintain her garden (because that's what it sound like it is - her garden, but with you having limited rights of use), he can do so unless she objects to this.It's her garden though, so she is fully entitled to enjoy the benefits and use the garden after any work has been done. Your husband isn't doing the work for her benefit though, if he was you wouldn't be aggrieved at her benefitting from his work. he is maintaining the garden because you and him benefit from the garden being maintained and the tenant isn't doing any gardening work.

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  • derry61
    replied
    How can we be asking her to help with the garden for our benefit? We are asking her to share the responsibility. We do not have to maintain the garden at all, but we do not think that would be fair to leave it all to her. I do not understand what part of fair you do not get? Since my Original post she has been using the garden, and having friends over to share the garden. Which is what she is entitled to do, but without the council sending her a letter she would not have done anything in the garden. The council came down and looked at the garden and said that she needs to chop all the shrubs back as some are growing as tall as our varanda, and soon the other shrub would have blocked view from my living room window. The council also said that she is blocking the access for workman, window cleaners. My window cleaner did say to me that soon he will not be able to access the garden because of the over grown bushes, and many roses, thorns etc. Needless to say, my husband chopped all of the shrubs back, it took him 2 days to do. He also cut the grass again. This is when she started to use the garden. Strange that... Doing the garden was not just a case so that we can sit in it, but also for workmen and my window cleaner to be able to access to clean my windows. I did have a word with her about throwing all of her ciggy butts on the grass, as it is not fair when my hubby worked so hard to make it nice and accessible.

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    They are both tenants but the tenant is on a tenancy with a fixed period of more that 21 years, and with a low rent.

    My guess is the OP's property exercised right to buy.

    I would hope the service charge is set at 50%, but it was up to the OP to consider anything worse, at the time of purchase.

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  • Jon66
    replied
    I wonder whether what may be relevant is Ops comment that there is no requirement for the neighbour to pay a service charge. Obviously this is because she is a tenant, but there seems to be a lot of resentment there . . ..

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  • leaseholder64
    replied
    My impression is that the garden belongs to the ground floor flat, but there is an easement to benefit the OP.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by HazeltonLane View Post
    This doesn't make sense to me. If you are not responsible for maintaining the garden, then surely you are not responsible for the cost of maintenance/repairs, such as the fence you mentioned.
    It doesn't make sense to me, especially the claim about not even being aware that the garden was communal. If there are rights to use the garden then these should be clearly stated in the lease, and the homeowner should be aware of this. If the garden is not included within the demise of the property, and no rights to use the garden are mentioned, it should be assumed that there are no rights of use.

    Boundary fences might fall under joint responsibility for repair/replacement under the service charges, but maintenance of the garden itself should not be split if the lease to only one property makes them responsible.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by derry61 View Post
    The Council Officer agreed with us that it is simply not right for us to be doing all the work in the garden especially when we are not obligated to do any work at all.
    If it really bothers you that much, then don't do all the work in the garden - you can even decide to do none of the work if that's what you want.


    Originally posted by derry61 View Post
    It makes no difference if she uses the garden or not, she took on the tenancy and she would of been told that the responsibility of the garden was hers.
    As far as the law is concerned, it makes no difference, but it is likely to only be the landlord who can take action for non-compliance, not you.
    As for the responsibility being explained, I wouldn't be so certain that it was explained and I would be even less certain that it would have been understood if it was explained.


    Originally posted by derry61 View Post
    He explained that we had a right of the enjoyment of the garden, if she chooses not to use the garden that is neither here not there as it is her choice...
    None of this changes the fact that you want her to maintain the garden for your benefit.

    Regardless of who is 'right' and who is 'in the wrong', you are seemingly making a big fuss about something that will likely result in nothing more than permanently creating a poor relationship between you and your neighbour.
    Sometimes it is far better to let things drop.

    Leave a comment:


  • HazeltonLane
    replied
    This doesn't make sense to me. If you are not responsible for maintaining the garden, then surely you are not responsible for the cost of maintenance/repairs, such as the fence you mentioned.

    Leave a comment:


  • scot22
    replied
    Do you want to have your rights or would you rather be happy ? I agree with previous post you may end up with poor relationship s which can be stressful.
    I agree with your views about people who do not accept responsibility. However, is it worth the hassle to deal with a problem of society in general ?

    Leave a comment:


  • eshroom
    replied
    Originally posted by derry61 View Post

    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
    I am neither arguing nor disagreeing with you, just stating your realistic options. You can push it but it's very hard for the council to enforce, and as you have pointed out they may end up doing it and charging you (maybe you this is a good 3rd option for you).

    Pushing it may just risk your neighbourly relations which to me would be far more stressful and a situation I would rather avoid at the expense of mowing the lawn and tending to the garden.
    ​​​​​​
    It is entirely your choice though.

    Leave a comment:


  • derry61
    replied
    Update...My husband works for the Council,and popped into the lease department and asked for advice on the shared gardens. He explained everything to the Council lease officer. The Council Officer agreed with us that it is simply not right for us to be doing all the work in the garden especially when we are not obligated to do any work at all. It makes no difference if she uses the garden or not, she took on the tenancy and she would of been told that the responsibility of the garden was hers. He explained that we had a right of the enjoyment of the garden, if she chooses not to use the garden that is neither here not there as it is her choice. They do not allow gardens to grow wild as it encourages mice and creates an eyesore. They have strict rules for their tenants to follow, and one of them is keeping the garden looking tidy. One thing that we did find out though. My neighbour is allowed to have a BBQ, we are not. She can have gatherings with friends in the garden, we are not allowed that either. We can only sit in the garden, read, enjoy the sun, and hang washing out. Only my family members of my maisonette are allowed to enjoy the garden. This does not bother us, but that is probably why she is the one who has to maintain the garden. The council also told my husband that we have to pay for communal areas, my neighbour being a council tenant does not have to pay anything, the least she can do is help a kind neighbour to take a turn when the neighbour is not obligated to do any garden work. He advised my husband to have a kind word with her first to see how it goes. My husband did tell her that she is more than welcome to borrow our lawnmower at any time to save her buying one and any shears, but nothing. The council Officer said if we get no joy, they will send her a letter. I meant to say, she does use the garden to hang out washing and to smoke. So really, she is using the garden.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by derry61 View Post

    It is not just a case of me wanting the garden to be maintained just for me to sit out in, it is about the lady downstairs doing her share of the work.
    Yes, you want the tenant of the other maisonette to be forced to maintain the garden (or at least share the maintenance work) when they don't want to use the garden (and might have preferred to be given somewhere to live that didn't have a garden) but you do want to use the garden.

    What I see as unfair is that (apparently) you both have use of the garden but she is the only one who might have an obligation to look after it. How would you feel if you had an obligation to maintain a garden for the benefit of someone else, when you didn't want to use the garden?

    As leaseholder64 has said, morally she probably does have an obligation to look after the garden, or at least to help look after it, for the benefit of those in both properties.
    Her tenancy agreement, if it does contain the terms that you quote, also seems to obligate her to maintain the garden.
    In reality though, if she doesn't want to maintain the garden, especially if she doesn't want o use it, anything that you do to try and force her to maintain the garden will only make things increasingly difficult between you as neighbours.


    As for the council charging you for any work on the garden...
    If your lease does not contain any obligation for you to maintain the garden, and you are certain that her tenancy agreement requires her to maintain it, you can challenge any gardening charge on the basis that the garden is not your responsibility to maintain.
    It is possible that there is a clause in your lease that covers all work on communal areas that might be used to make the charge attributable as a 50:50 split between both properties, but can you really argue that this wouldn't be fair?

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  • derry61
    replied
    It is not just a case of me wanting the garden to be maintained just for me to sit out in, it is about the lady downstairs doing her share of the work. Just because she does not want to use the garden "at the moment" means absolutely nothing. As far as the council are concerned it is for her to keep the garden tidy. Do you think that the council would consider if she wants to use the garden or not, I very much doubt it. I have said on several occasions that the agreement does apply to my neighbour as I have spoken to the council over a year ago, when I found out that the garden was communal, I asked them if we were responsible for maintaining the garden, they said no, but the lady downstairs is. You say that we will not be responsible if the garden gets overgrown for paying any costs for council to do work? Yes we are, as because we have the right of access and use if for recreational use, we will have to pay towards costs of any work relating to the garden. Crazy I know. So in a nutshell, if we just leave the garden and not use it, if it overgrows and council are called, it will cost us..All she has to do is sit back throw her ciggy ends all over the place and do nothing. great.

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  • Macromia
    replied
    Originally posted by derry61 View Post
    I cannot believe people cannot see how this is unfair.
    I can see how this is unfair - you want the other resident to maintain a garden that
    they don't want to use so that you can sit in a well maintained garden.

    If you want to sit in a garden that is maintained to the standards that you want, then maintain it yourselves (you have already apparently been given permission to do so).

    If you are willing to leave the garden unmaintained, then that option is also available to you.

    Note: If your lease doesn't contain any obligation for you to maintain the communal garden, then the council cannot charge you for any work that they do to maintain it

    The tenancy agreement that you quote seems to be a general agreement that is used for all properties, it does not seem to be specifically tailored to maisonettes in your building, so I don't consider relying on what it says it that to be "fair".
    It is also quite possible that, as a council tenant, your neighbour was not given much choice about where she was housed (if there was any choice at all).

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  • derry61
    replied
    Hang on, why am I so bothered about this? The shrubs are not a 5 minute job Jon. The grass is fine because My husband and myself have been cutting the grass. The shrubs are around 7 ft tall, and 6 ft across. There are a lot of shrubs in the garden. As for cutting the grass once a month, are you aware how quickly the grass grows in the summer months? So basically what some people are saying on here, is...You and your husband do all the work, at the age of 62, say nothing, while the lady just sits back and does nothing? If we do nothing and it gets overgrown, other neighbours will report the garden as an eyesore. Where I live the neighbours are very proud of their area, and tend to their gardens. If left I know somebody will report it, and guess who will have to foot the bill? even though it is not for us to maintain. So if that garden is overgrown and she does not take her turn, then it is us that have to pay half the cost. I cannot believe people cannot see how this is unfair. We are kind enough to help her with the garden, even though we do not have to, yet she does not even offer help. What is wrong with this picture?

    Leave a comment:

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