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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Garden Maintenance Rights During Tenancy

Jan 9

Taking on the responsibility of managing a garden when you are a tenant can be daunting. As a tenant, it is important to know your rights so that you can ensure that you are looking after the garden to a satisfactory standard and that your landlord is also complying with their responsibilities. In this article, we will look at the different responsibilities of tenants and landlords, common disputes that may arise and some practical tips for staying on top of garden maintenance during tenancy.

Tenant's Responsibilities

As a tenant, it is your responsibility to maintain the garden in a neat and orderly fashion as agreed upon in the tenancy contract. Depending on the state you live in, this obligation may vary slightly; however, generally speaking, it involves: keeping the garden tidy and not letting it become overgrown; mowing and edging lawns regularly; weeding and removing dead or dying plants; pruning shrubs and trees; and keeping pathways and driveway clean. If your agreement stipulates that the garden must be maintained to a certain standard, then you should make sure to adhere to these expectations or risk being fined or evicted for breaching your tenancy agreement.

Landlord's Responsibilities

In most states, landlords are responsible for ensuring that the garden remains in good condition before they enter into an agreement with a tenant. This means that a landlord should make sure that the garden is clear of weeds and rubbish and that all plants are alive and healthy. The landlord must also provide tools such as a lawnmower and other appropriate equipment needed to maintain the garden in good condition. If the landlord fails to do so, they may be liable for any damage caused by their negligence.

Common Disputes and Solutions

One of the most common disputes in tenancy agreements is the dispute between tenant and landlord over who is responsible for garden maintenance. Generally speaking, it is the tenant's responsibility to maintain the garden; however, the landlord is expected to provide the necessary tools and resources. If a dispute arises, the parties should attempt to resolve it amicably by discussing the issue openly and attempting to reach a mutual agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, the dispute may have to be mediated or referred to the relevant authorities.

Legal Framework and Regulations

Each state and territory in Australia has its own set of laws and regulations in relation to tenancy agreements and garden maintenance. It is important to familiarise yourself with the laws in your area as these can help to clarify who is responsible for what and how potential disputes should be handled. You can find more information on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant on Listed Estate Agents.

Communication with Your Landlord

Communicating effectively with your landlord is essential to avoiding disputes over garden maintenance. Before entering into a tenancy agreement, make sure to discuss any expectations regarding the upkeep of the garden and document them in writing. During your tenancy, be sure to keep your landlord informed of any changes or improvements that you wish to make to the garden so that everyone is aware of their respective responsibilities.

Making Changes to the Garden

If you wish to improve or change the garden during your tenancy, check with your landlord first to ensure that your plans are approved. Some minor changes, such as planting a few flowers, may not require approval; however, if you wish to make more drastic changes, such as adding a new deck or building a pond, you will need to seek consent from the landlord before proceeding.


Garden maintenance is an important consideration for tenants and landlords alike. By understanding the different responsibilities of both parties and communicating effectively, you can ensure that the garden is well looked after and that potential disputes are kept to a minimum.