“I’ve just moved into a unit in Melbourne. Who needs to maintain the gardens? How do I know?” (Tenant, VIC)
Living in a rental property with a beautiful garden can be great, especially during the spring and summer months which offer the perfect weather for entertaining. However, gardens require maintenance, and while some people are happy to plug away in the front (and backyard), most people find garden maintenance a chore.
Inevitably, garden maintenance (or lack thereof) can lead to issues between tenants and landlords. So who’s responsibility is garden maintenance? We asked Metro Property Management Director, Leah Calnan for her advice.
Leah said maintaining the garden is the responsibility of the tenant.
“However, if there is an active owners corporation in place (you will see a plaque near the letterbox), give them a call,” she said.
“You can ask them to clarify what parts of the garden are your responsibility, and what parts are looked after by their gardener.”
Have a question you would like to see answered here? Let us know!
Unless your tenancy agreement says otherwise, you can safely assume you (as the tenant) are responsible for mowing and edging the lawns, watering, weeding, pruning and fertilising – all chores which could be termed ‘garden maintenance.’
As a tenant, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring the garden is maintained to the standard set at the beginning of the tenancy.
Your landlord will generally be responsible for things such as providing hoses and sprinklers, maintaining the reticulation system, cleaning gutters and tree lopping – but this can vary in some tenancy agreements. Be sure to check with your property manager or landlord if you’re not sure.
A good property manager will help you understand your responsibilities, and with the help of a comprehensive Property Condition Report and regular inspections, will ensure these responsibilities are met.
Leah Calnan was the President of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) between 2020-2021. Before stepping into the president role, she was the Director at Metro Property Management in Surrey Hills, Victoria. She is the author of Simple and Successful Property Management. Leah has received multiple honours and awards, including REB Property Manager of the Year 2016 and 2014, and finalist in the REIV Property Manager of the Year 2013 and 2012.