Hedge trimming - sorry!

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    Hedge trimming - sorry!

    After signing the AST and moving into a rented property, LL turned up one day with a copy of the Land Title showing a parcel of land along the side of the next property which he stated would be our responsibility to maintain, including pruning/trimming of shrubs etc.

    The inventory does not show any photos or mentions any part of this land.

    I have tried to maintain the area, but the hedge is over 6 ft tall and 5 ft wide, and runs for at least 100 feet. The ground is sloping and gravelled, and using a step ladder is very unsafe, especially reaching across the 5 ft width even using special tools that I have purchased. I have explained to LL that I will no longer be able to carry out this work, but if he reduces the hedge to a safe size, (i.e. no ladder required) I will continue. He is adamant that I have to trim as is, and at my own expense. I can see the state of the bush from 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2019 on Google Maps, which shows the lack of maintenance by the previous tenant.

    The AST has no detailed or specific mention of this in the Garden clauses, and the Inventory shows no details or pictures of the parcel of land.

    Is there a rule that states it is not Tenants responsibility if the trimming/pruning requirement is unsafe, ladders required and/or unreasonable?

    #2
    What does your tenancy agreement say about maintaining this kind of thing?

    Not mentioning that there was a significant and unusual aspect to the maintenance of the property is probably a misleading ommission and might void the agreement entirely.

    I'd suggest that you agree with the landlord something along the lines of an annual trim by a professional which you will pay for by deducting the cost from the rent.
    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).

    Comment


      #3
      You mean that the hedge is not obviously part of the property -- like around the corner in a finger shaped extension to the land. What exactly is a "parcel of land"?

      If it is obviously a part of the property you are renting then you are responsible to keep it at least as good as it is at the start. The fact that it is dangerous in your opinion is irrelevant -- you can pay someone else to do it.

      If it is a total surprise that it is your hedge at all, and not even visible from the property, then I agree it is a misleading omission.

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you.

        The Tenancy Agreement has 5 paragraphs relating to 'Garden':
        1. To keep the garden and outside areas of the property (if any) in good seasonable order throughout the Tenancy.
        2 - 4 relate to the garden which is a rear garden only. The front of the property has potted shrubs (ours) but no garden.
        5. To hand back the gardens and grounds of the Property to the Landlord at the end of the Tenancy in the state and condition described in the Inventory and Schedule of Condition.

        In my opinion. both paragraphs 1 and 5 are extremely vague.
        As stated, the Inventory makes no mention of this area, neither are there any photographs. There is also no Schedule of Condition anywhere in the Inventory or AST.

        Both of these documents were signed by us before we were given a copy of the Land Title, and told verbally of the area and our responsibilities towards it.

        The whole area is not obviously part of the property as it borders a neighbours garage and garden. It is a long thin triangle running alongside the private road to 3 properties and our closest neighbour. A parcel of land is generally a small area of land.

        The area is not visible from any part of the property, unless you walk some steps from the front door.

        Comment


          #5
          Well I don't think every plant can be detailed in an inventory. So you walk in your garden and this is a boundary of your garden - right? - the fact that it borders with a neighbour is neither here nor there - that is what a border does. Maybe a photo would help...

          It is an issue that the AST refers to a document that does not exist. But I think it is reasonable that you hand stuff back in the state you got it.

          So I think the real issue is whether any sensible person would think that the hedge is at a border, and that this border is a border of the thing you are renting (without having to refer to the deeds or with special explanation of a mosaic layout).

          Comment


            #6
            It sounds as though the 'Parcel of land' is separated from rented property.

            Comment


              #7
              It is separated. It is not accessible from the garden (which actually had no plants at all when we moved in). If you picture the house from the frontage, to the right hand side there is a strip of land which runs between the private lane and the neighbours garage and garden. Everyone who has seen it is shocked when we tell them that it belongs to the property we live in.
              I'll take your advice and post picture tomorrow. Hopefully that will help.

              Comment


                #8
                No need for a picture in that case. I would tell them in that case to get lost. They should have drawn your attention to it before when you were deciding.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi! Had to change my username for some reason... I started this post as Champy72!
                  Anyway, LL turned up yesterday with his builder, and cut the offending hedge down to 5ft height with a 2 ft width! Not sure it will be survive as it is now all branches. Think he may have re-read his AST and Inventory.
                  Thanks for all the comments, and obviously I cannot close this thread...Sorry!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Organgrinder View Post
                    Hi! Had to change my username for some reason... I started this post as Champy72!
                    Anyway, LL turned up yesterday with his builder, and cut the offending hedge down to 5ft height with a 2 ft width! Not sure it will be survive as it is now all branches. Think he may have re-read his AST and Inventory.
                    Thanks for all the comments, and obviously I cannot close this thread...Sorry!
                    No need to close threads. They serve as illumination for your followers.

                    So it worked out good in that respect. Not sure why people insist on wanting to have foliage cut down as much as possible anyway, often for no apparent reason - that act of theirs will have destroyed a habitat for many hundreds of birds.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Organgrinder View Post
                      cut the offending hedge down to 5ft height with a 2 ft width! Not sure it will be survive as it is now all branches.
                      If it's a privet hedge, it will soon grow back. The only way to stop one of those, is to dig it up.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        If this land is separate to the property and there is nothing in the contract about it, then you are at liberty to ignore the landlords request if you wish as it would have no legal standing.

                        Comment

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