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Advice need - landlords accessing garden too much for comfort

I would like some advice and clarification. We rent a house through a letting agent and have done for 6 years. We are currently resigning and have run into a bit of conflict with our landlord.

In our initial agreement, the landlord asked to maintain the garden due to a bad experience with a previous tenant. The agreement was they would come at a scheduled time weekly/fortnightly to mow the lawn and do general upkeep. In the actual tenancy agreement, it simply states that they are responsible for the garden.

They stuck to the agreed time for the first year or so but would occasionally come on the Friday instead of Thursday or a Monday if it had been a few weeks. At the time, this wasn't a problem. Fast forward a few years and it has slowly evolved into they will show up when they please without notice. We have a back gate and there are times when my wife is home alone and suddenly they are there in the garden. It has become increasingly distressing for her.

During our current renewal, I requested after 6 years of good tenancy that we take full responsibility but unfortunately they have refused, again claiming the bad experience with previous tenants. It doesn't look like they are going to budge. Before I take it any further though, I'm anxious to renew before the kick-off and kick us out.

My question (sorry for the length), is what rights do they have as designated gardeners for the property? Are they still liable to give us 24 hrs notice before they come onto the property to mow the lawn or trim the bushes? What rights do we have as tenants?

Just this week, and I don't know if this was in response to our request, they have accessed the garden four times - to mow, mow again, trim the bushes and have even gained access to the back roof to clean the gutters, all without any notice to us. We are definitely not peacefully occupying the property and would like to put something in writing to clarify to them when and how they can maintain the garden. Other than this issue, we have a good relationship with them and are worried about spoiling that so are treading carefully but we are coming to the end of our tether!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks.

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Comments

  • Sorry, should have said 'renewing' not 'resigning'!
  • TheJP
    TheJP Posts: 1,664 Forumite
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    You need to agree a set time each week that they come round to do the work, i don't think that's unreasonable. Let the letting agent sort this for you as that's their job. 
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,056 Forumite
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    I would have a word with letting agent and let them know that you're fine with the landlord insisting on doing the garden, but he needs to come at agreed times or at the very least give 24 hours notice if he wants to come at an alternative time.

    Could you put a lock on the gate?
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • This is the exact request I have gone back with. The letting agent is very supportive but admitted the landlord was quite difficult on the phone when it was discussed. 

    If they do not agree to the above, what rights do we have to insist on the 24 hrs thing? The gardening thing just leaves it a bit grey. 
  • And would we need permission from the landlord to put a lock on the back gate? Would love nothing more than to just lock them out but know they will kick off 
  • TheJP
    TheJP Posts: 1,664 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    You have a right to peaceful enjoyment of the property. If you are renewing the contract ask that a certain date in the week is added rather than the LL will manage upkeep. If not then say you may need to look at other properties, I'm sure he will change his tune then.
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,056 Forumite
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    edited 14 September 2023 at 2:21PM
    lincoln83 said:
    And would we need permission from the landlord to put a lock on the back gate? Would love nothing more than to just lock them out but know they will kick off 
    The property is your HOME, and as long as you return the property as it was at the end of your tenancy, excluding fair wear and tear, then you can do what you like.

    So you can put a lock on the gate, as long as when you move out it is removed (and not damaging the gate).

    If the gate was locked, you'd then have to make sure one of you was in the property at the agreed gardening times to open the gate for him.

    If the gate opens inwards, then I'd consider putting something metal and clangy against the gate that will fall over when he opens it, and then for longer term rig up a wireless gate alarm that means an alarm will sound in the house when the gate has been opened. They're about £40 I think.

    (or the ones that have an alarm on them that will scare the living daylights out of him!)
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • sourpuss2021
    sourpuss2021 Posts: 603 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 14 September 2023 at 3:30PM
    Is there no chance on renewal that the landlord would alter the contract so that you as tenants are responsible for garden maintenance, and agree that you will pay for a professional/ jobbing gardener?  

    Then at least you will be able to fix the times that maintenance takes place, though it may cost you another £60+ a month between, say, March and October. 
  • The OP stated in their original post that the LL will not consider allowing them to take care of the garden. 
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  • As an aside, are they asking you sign a new rental agreement every year, as you can do nothing and let it onto a rolling tenancy in England and Wales.

    Often it is the letting agent pushing renewels to claim a fee from the landlord. 

    Stating you are not signing a new agreement and intend to go rolling due to the issue might get them to have more detailed discussions with the landlord.
    Alternatively you could propose a lower rental price as peaceful enjoyment isn't being permitted to push the issue a bit. 
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