“My tenant has cut down a large tree on my property. It was a key feature of the backyard, offered privacy and was the only shade available for entertaining and the children’s play area. Do I have any rights to seek reimbursement from the tenant for removing the tree without my permission?” Owner, NSW
We asked One Agency – Bezzina Property Group Directo , Guy Bezzina for his advice.
“I believe that the owner of the premises does have a right to seek compensation,” Guy said.
“Initially, the tenant should have sought permission from the owner/agent and perhaps local council, as they will have restrictions on removal of certain trees, in which case a fine could also be imposed.”
Guy said that should the Tribunal consider this to be damage to the premises, compensation would be payable as it would be a breach of the tenancy agreement.
Damage and Reimbursement
A rental property is more than just the housing structure. All the landscaping, including shrubs, trees and other features) come included with the property. The lease agreement your tenant signs should outline the expectations and conditions for living there while paying rent.
Most leases, however, do not permit tenants to make significant changes anywhere on the property, and this includes the landscape. st lease agreements allow the tenant to enjoy use of the property, but do not give them permission to alter anything on the property beyond simple repairs or maintenance.
Cutting down a tree can have an affect on the property value. If your tenant cuts down a tree on your property without permission, it could be considered Damage to the Premises and can result in serious action from the landlord – particularly because this action can potentially land the owner in trouble for unauthorised removal of a tree.
Removing a tree from a property could be considered a violation of the lease agreement and lead to fines, penalties, and possibly eviction. If the tenants in question are otherwise good tenants, landlords may ask for reimbursement to cover the damage.