Tenancy deposit mid tenancy gardening work vs moving in inventory

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    Tenancy deposit mid tenancy gardening work vs moving in inventory

    I have recently vacated a property and the landlord would like to claim against the tenancy deposit for gardening work, despite the garden being in the same condition during the inventory and checkout. The garden is a medium sized garden with a lawn and bushes in the flowerbed. During checkout the grass was greener than the the moving in inventory and the bushes were of a medium size e.g below the fence and within the bounds of the flowerbed.

    ​​​​​​The landlord's justification is that the landlord hired a professional gardener during the tenancy to cut most of the bushes down to near their roots and claim we should have left the garden in this state. This standard was documented by the gardener by photographs the agent retained but did not share with me.

    The contract only states the garden should be kept in the same character and good order. There was also no explicit communication of how we should leave the garden beyond leaving it as received in the inventory.

    Is the landlord right to claim for a professional gardener to restore the standard to how it was midway through the property?

    #2
    Do not agree with the cost if you don't accept it.

    It is the nature (no pun) of gardens to change and evolve, hence most tenancy agreements making broad statements about character and order.
    If the garden when you left it was in a similar standard and condition to when you moved in, the landlord has no claim, because that's what you agreed to do.

    You were not in a position when you entered the tenancy to know (or agree) that the bushes were to be put into a different condition during the tenancy and that you were thereafter to maintain them.

    I would ask the landlord to show where you have agreed to maintain the bushes in a different condition than you agreed to in the tenancy agreement, where you have agreed to keep it as it was when the tenancy began.
    If you had returned the garden with the bushes cut to ground level, you would actually been in breach of the tenancy agreement.

    As a secondary point, if the landlord paid for someone to cut back the bushes during the tenancy, you could reasonably expect that this would continue, as it was not a service that you required or was necessary to maintain the garden in the state you received it.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      What times of year did you move in and out, and at what time of year dit the gardener do the deed??

      If move in and out differ, then it may be that the bushes needed to be cut down at the time of year before you departed.

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