Tenants of an apartment with garden do not always know who is responsible for the care. We explain when the tenant or landlord is responsible.
A private garden is a dream many tenants can not fulfill. But even if a small (or large) garden belongs to the rented apartment, this is not only associated with benefits. Finally, this garden also wants to be well maintained. What if the tenant does not feel like taking care of the garden? Maybe he would rather have a gardener come, so that the garden looks accurate, but the tenant does not have excessive garden maintenance. This is of course possible. However, then also raises the question of the cost. Who bears the costs of gardening – tenants or landlords? What is happening, if the landlord and not the tenant has commissioned the gardener? Can the costs still be transferred to the tenant completely or at least in part? In the further course, we reveal what the German jurisprudence has to say on these topics.
Who is responsible for garden maintenance?
Tenants are only responsible if this is expressly stipulated in the rental agreement!
If a garden belongs to the tenement or the rented apartment on the ground floor, it should be clear in the lease, who has to take care of the garden maintenance. But there are also leases, which unfortunately do not contain such a regulation despite an existing rental garden. In this case, the tenants can assume that the care of the garden is not their job, but the landlord has to take care of it. If this task is to be transferred to the tenant, a corresponding contractual arrangement is therefore required. Anyone interested in renting an apartment or a house with a garden should take a close look at the particular formulation regarding garden maintenance. Because it provides information about the extent to which the tenant has to take care of the care of the garden.
Costs for garden maintenance by landlord or gardener are repayable
While maintaining a lawn or flower bed is generally not very costly, hedge trimming or pruning can look quite different. That is why it is in the interest of the tenant to look closely and to examine what work a rental garden will mean for him in the future. Even if the landlord will either take care of the garden himself or hire a third party, such as a landscaper, to take over this work, this does not mean that there are no costs to the tenant. Because the costs of garden maintenance are partially reimbursable. The additional costs associated with renting an apartment with a garden for the tenant should therefore be borne in mind before renting the property.
Gardening by the tenant
Basically, it should be noted that the tenant can be contractually committed only in a limited framework for garden maintenance. Only simple gardening can be expected of the tenant. The following parameters must therefore apply to these gardening:
- The tenant does not need any expertise to carry out the respective gardening work.
- There is no great financial expense in the said gardening.
Lawn mowing and the removal of weeds are therefore reasonable for the tenant. In addition to felling, pruning trees is one of the tasks that can not be transferred from the landlord to the tenant. Because they are not only time-consuming, but these gardening are also associated with a higher degree of difficulty. Whether the landlord wants to carry out this work himself or wants to consult a specialist, of course, he is free. In order to avoid unnecessary disputes between the tenant and the landlord, it makes sense if the lease already includes the following points regarding the tenant’s obligations:
- Kind of gardening
- Scope of garden maintenance
- how often the garden should be maintained by the tenant
Tenants decide for themselves
The landlord has in and of itself not the right to dictate to the tenant to what extent and how often he has to maintain the garden. Because if the landlord is likely to give the tenant such specifications, then the tenant would almost slip into the role of a worker. Thus, the renter can decide whether he wants to mow the lawn weekly or only every two weeks. This discretion also means that the tenant can decide for himself how much time and money he wants to invest in gardening.
Garden may not be neglected
However, there are limits too. Finally, the tenant may not leave the garden completely neglected, since the garden maintenance is finally part of his contracted duties. Therefore, it may make sense to contractually stipulate the minimum amount of gardening to be done by the renter before the landlord intervenes. An eco-garden or trees as well as shrubs, which are not cut by the tenant, are to be accepted by the landlord. If the landlord attaches great importance to the fact that his taste in the design and care of the garden comes into play, then he should not transfer the task of garden maintenance to the tenant. Because of this, the landlord has forfeited the right to have a say.
Landlord may hire at neglect gardener at the expense of the tenant
However, if the garden is completely overgrown or neglected, the landlord can not intervene immediately. Rather, he must first ask the tenant to fulfill his duties in gardening. A specialist company may therefore only hire the landlord if the tenant has not complied with this request again. Only then can the landlord demand a reimbursement for the gardener from the tenant, even though the tenant would have been responsible for the care of the rental garden. If, on the other hand, the landlord hastily orders a gardener, he will stay at this cost. In order not to risk any quarrels with your own landlord, it is of course in the interest of the tenant,
Costs of gardening by the tenant
Even if the tenant takes care of the care of the garden, it goes hand in hand with costs. From water to irrigating the plants to the cost of purchasing a lawn mower, which the tenant may not yet own, comes in this case a lot of money together. Therefore, the question arises as to what the tenant has to bear these costs in full. If there is an agreement between tenant and landlord, that the tenant cultivates the garden, this does not mean that the landlord must provide his tenant with the appropriate garden equipment.
Rather, the tenant must get these devices themselves and pay for them. Thus, it is at the discretion of the tenant, how much he wants to invest financially in the garden maintenance. Big advantage: While the one-time purchase costs for the various garden tools can be quite high, these devices are of course the property of the tenant and can be used or sold in a move either for garden maintenance of another object.
Garden maintenance by the landlord
So while there are already some garden maintenance tasks that the landlord will take over in any case, it is just as conceivable that the landlord is responsible for the complete garden maintenance. If a professional gardener should do this work, the tenant must therefore assume that appropriate incidental costs to him. But to what extent may the costs for the gardener be passed on to the tenant? Does the tenant have to pay the whole bill at the end, just because the landlord does not like to take care of the gardening himself and has not transferred this task to the tenant?
Taking gardening reduces reimbursable costs for the tenant
If it is in the interest of the tenant to lend a hand in the rental garden, this should be addressed to the landlord. Because while some prospective tenants simply do not feel like gardening and are happy when the landlord regulates everything, there are also tenants who like to let off steam in the garden themselves. Anyone who invests time in a rental garden can also expect lower gardener costs. In order for the landlord to be able to transfer the costs of garden maintenance to the tenant, a look at the lease is once again crucial.
Reimbursable costs for garden maintenance regulated in the lease
Only then, if the costs of gardening are listed there as a possible type of incidental costs, the landlord is allowed to retrieve the money for the gardener from the tenant. The following list gives all interested readers an overview of the costs that can be assigned to garden care and to what extent:
- Cost of operating the lawnmower – electricity and gasoline
- Personnel costs – that is the reward for the gardener
- Watering and watering – costs of water
- Removal and replanting of trees and shrubs, if done for age, weather or environmental reasons
- Costs for the removal of various garden waste including leaves
- The removal of withered flowers
- Possible operating, repair and maintenance costs for various garden tools whose use causes lower personnel costs in garden maintenance
- Cost of pruning hedges / shrubs / trees
- Care of access roads, squares and other outdoor spaces located on the premises
- Costs for plants / woods that have to be replaced – on the other hand, if plants or woods need to be purchased new, the tenant can not usually be asked to pay
- Lawn fees – Lawn Mowing / Fertilizing / Scarifying / etc.
- Costs for the care of a playground (if available)
Depending on how the use of the garden is regulated in the rental agreement, all or only part of the costs may be allocated to the tenant. After all, there are no other parties involved in the costs of a single family tenement. If, on the other hand, it is an apartment building where the tenant rents only one ground floor apartment, he does not have to bear the full cost of gardening all external surfaces on the premises. Since the front yard as well as the paths and driveways are mostly used by all tenants, they are also all proportionally responsible for bearing the costs for the care of these areas.
The more well-groomed the garden, the higher the cost
Given the long list of costs that the landlord can afford the tenant, the tenants should consider exactly how important a beautiful, well-kept garden. The more well-groomed the grounds of a rental house, the more money the responsible gardener will charge for this work. Before a tenant decides on a rental property with a garden, it should therefore be checked exactly what ancillary costs for garden maintenance can be expected. Because otherwise the tenant may later experience a nasty surprise that could cost him dearly.
Allow service charges to be checked
In part, the legality of the costs incurred by the tenant is difficult to understand. Who fears too high costs for garden maintenance, which is best with the utility bill to the renting association. Finally, the landlord is not obliged to commission the cheapest gardener on the market with the garden maintenance. That the cost of gardening in the end turned out to be higher than the tenant had expected, is therefore quite possible. Therefore, it may be useful to have the estimated amount of incidental costs not only fixed in the lease, but also to insist that the different types of costs be broken down in detail.
What happens when the tenant moves out?
If, during the rental period, the tenant has planted only one plant at his expense in the rental garden, the question arises as to how the tenant may take these plants. Do the plants that the tenant has paid continue to belong to him or are they to be the property of the landlord and must therefore under no circumstances be removed from the rental garden? The legal provisions are not as clear on this matter, as some would like a tenant-landlord team. If there is a rental garden, then it makes sense to regulate this aspect contractually exactly.
The lease may, for example, provide that the plants may not be taken, but the landlord has to pay a compensation to the tenant. However, such clauses are only to be found in the fewest leases, so that in practice there are often avoidable disputes. In general, it can be stated that the chances of the tenant taking the plants with him are decreasing over the years. The longer the plants have grown together with the floor of the rental garden, the harder it is to obtain the right to dig up these plants and take them with them. Anyway, there is always the danger that the plants could be damaged during the move and finally be destroyed. Of course, garden furniture will remain the property of the renter, unless they have been provided by the landlord,