Betterment of garden

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  • Betterment of garden

    Hi,

    My LL is selling the house I am renting. Through the last 2 months LL has been doing bits and bobs to the house painting etc. LL intends to do-up the garden somewhat as its currently a mess and has been in a similar state since my tenancy began.

    LL asked me if i knew anyone cheap which I do, so i got him to give her a quote.

    LL has now asked if i want to take some money out of my deposit.... I guess to do up her garden...
    LL's arguement being..
    -Our female German Shepard has wee'd on the grass making it patchy in places. (Fair wear and tear as LL was well aware of the implications of allowing dogs?)
    -The dog has ripped down the back 'fence' (some weaved wood type material stapled to some branches. (£5-£10 from B&Q + some staples)
    -The pond, that was meant to be filled in on commencement of the tenancy is a mess... as I have paid no attention to it due to the fact it isn't meant to be there.


    Where do I stand.. surely most of this is betterment..

    Should I pay towards the works being done £30 or something (£200 in total), as a good will gesture.



    Edit:

    The work being done..
    -Pond is being filled in.
    -Edges of grass and some other parts are being bordered off.
    -A proper fence is being put in.
    -Flags from around the pond and being laid next to existing flags to expand on the limited walking space.

  • #2
    Originally posted by garner86 View Post
    Hi,

    My LL is selling the house I am renting. Through the last 2 months LL has been doing bits and bobs to the house painting etc. LL intends to do-up the garden somewhat as its currently a mess and has been in a similar state since my tenancy began.

    LL asked me if i knew anyone cheap which I do, so i got him to give her a quote.

    LL has now asked if i want to take some money out of my deposit.... I guess to do up her garden...
    LL's arguement being..
    -Our female German Shepard has wee'd on the grass making it patchy in places. (Fair wear and tear as LL was well aware of the implications of allowing dogs?)
    -The dog has ripped down the back 'fence' (some weaved wood type material stapled to some branches. (£5-£10 from B&Q + some staples)
    -The pond, that was meant to be filled in on commencement of the tenancy is a mess... as I have paid no attention to it due to the fact it isn't meant to be there.


    Where do I stand.. surely most of this is betterment..
    Thye bottom line is that you should return the property (including the garden) to the LL in the same condition as it was in at start of tenancy as evidenced by a thorough check-in inventory agreed by both of you, UNLESS the written TA contains terms which promised extra things would be provided and by when, or which exclude you from responsibility for something.

    If you start with this principle, you should be able to work out whether your LL's proposed deductions are reasonable or not. However, just because the materials for a repair job can be obtained cheaply from B & Q, it does not follow that this amount is a fair amount to charge for the repair. Someone has to do the work. Assuming you are liable for the repair, do it yourself if you can do it professionally, then LL won't have to charge anything.

    FWIW, I do not think urine-scorched grass on a lawn is 'fair wear and tear'. You could have trained your dog to do its business on the soil, just as (I trust) you have trained it not to urinate on the carpets inside.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      Tenants have a responsibility to treat their rented property in a tenant-like manner and to undertake minor repairs.

      During your tenure, have you (minimally) repaired the fence your dog damaged, cut the grass, trimmed overhanging branches and stems, cleared up dog mess, disposed of fallen leaves, cleared moss from the pond?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by garner86 View Post
        -Our female German Shepard has wee'd on the grass making it patchy in places. (Fair wear and tear as LL was well aware of the implications of allowing dogs?)
        -The dog has ripped down the back 'fence' (some weaved wood type material stapled to some branches. (£5-£10 from B&Q + some staples)
        Damage caused by dog or dog's urine is not fair wear and tear. LL may well understand the "implications" of T keeping a dog (e.g. damage, smell, flea-infested carpets etc - hence many LLs refuse to allow pets) but T is still liable for dog-related costs. But as MTG says, nothing to stop you fixing things yourself.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
          Thye bottom line is that you should return the property (including the garden) to the LL in the same condition as it was in at start of tenancy as evidenced by a thorough check-in inventory agreed by both of you, UNLESS the written TA contains terms which promised extra things would be provided and by when, or which exclude you from responsibility for something.
          ...and of course excepting fair wear and tear.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


          • #6
            Right

            -Dog-wee is not considered fair wear & tear understandable, good point about training.
            -The back fence is cheap from B&Q and was not done professionally in the first place... it was falling down prior to our dog ripping the rest of it down (she pulled on the section that had fallen down already.)

            With regards to maintenance, we cut the grass clear up any dog mess etc.

            My tenancy has not finished and no notice has yet been given.

            I fully understand the 'return in the same condition'. Surely me paying (partly) for the works stated previously is betterment as none of the work relates to damages I have caused.

            The LL wants to improve the back fence with a proper secured fence which Estate Agent recommended, there is no point in me returning the fence to its previous condition if its being replaced.

            I could most likely sort the grass with some miracle grow and by giving my partners dog a clip round the ear.
            The Pond shouldn't even be here... Was a requirement to remove it prior to tenancy, we didn't enforce it to keep the peace.

            Comment


            • #7
              Crane Flies (aka Daddy Long Legs) lay their eggs in the lawn and the larvae cause patchy grass as well. Wonder if you can tell which is which?
              ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by garner86 View Post
                I fully understand the 'return in the same condition'. Surely me paying (partly) for the works stated previously is betterment as none of the work relates to damages I have caused.........

                Edit:

                The work being done..
                -Pond is being filled in.
                -Edges of grass and some other parts are being bordered off.
                -A proper fence is being put in.
                -Flags from around the pond and being laid next to existing flags to expand on the limited walking space.
                The things in the list are improvements so no, you're not liable to pay for them.

                Anyway, your tenancy hasn't ended and there should be no question of deposit deductions until then.

                Do you have an assured shorthold tenancy which was created or renewed after 6th April 2007 and if so, is the deposit protected?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by garner86 View Post

                  My LL is selling the house I am renting. Through the last 2 months LL has been doing bits and bobs to the house painting etc. LL intends to do-up the garden somewhat as its currently a mess and has been in a similar state since my tenancy began.
                  p.s. Are you aware that you do not have to allow the LL access to carry out all these jobs? I think I'd find it quite annoying having the LL or his contractors constantly coming round over an extended period.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am quite happy to let LL come round and do little job about the house to try and improve it for the sale. LL doesn't come around constantly the only gripe I have is unreliability.. has failed to appear on a arranged day.. making my partner and toddler sit in the house for a large portion of the day.

                    The tenancy began after 6th April 2007.

                    The deposit is protected with the DPS, apparently it is in the EX-LA's company Name. Not to sure how this works but I have the paper work from the DPS so i assume all is good.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by garner86 View Post

                      The deposit is protected with the DPS, apparently it is in the EX-LA's company Name. Not to sure how this works but I have the paper work from the DPS so i assume all is good.
                      Yes, should be. All you have to do, if you dispute any deductions, is raise a dispute with the scheme, and (if LL agrees) it will go to adjudication with the scheme, who'll decide what's fair. LL will have to show evidence to support any claim for deductions.

                      If LL refuses to use adjudication, then you'd have to issue a court claim to get your deposit back. If this happens, make sure that you ask the court to name the DPS on the CCJ - see this blog post (and the comments):
                      http://landlordlaw.blogspot.com/2009...-to-claim.html

                      Comment

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