Tenants and landlords are responsible for different tasks on the grounds of a property.
Under section 40(1)(e) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (RTA), a tenant is required to keep the premises reasonably clean and tidy. Tenancy Services state that this includes mowing the lawns and weeding the gardens. However, tenants do not have to do this if the parties have agreed to a variation of these obligations within their Tenancy Agreement.
If the tenant wishes to remove or prune a tree, shrub or hedge, they should get the landlord’s written consent first. If the tenant does make this request, the tenant will be responsible for tidying up and removal of the cuttings.
The landlord’s obligations are stated under section 45(1)(a)-(b) of the RTA where a landlord must provide and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair and cleanliness.
In practice, this means that the landlord will be responsible for pruning and maintaining trees, hedges and shrubs.
The landlord should also make sure any trees are safe, especially those that are damaged by storms or growing towards electrical lines.
These articles were featured in Harcourts Property Management Focus, Issue 10 2021.