Gardening rights and obligations

As soon as the temperatures reach the feel-good area and nature blossoms, the gardening season begins. Now you can have a barbecue, party and play right in front of the patio door. But not every tenant has the opportunity to enjoy summer fun in this way. Only if the tenancy agreement expressly states the right to share the garden, the residents of an apartment building may also enjoy its advantages. The situation is different for tenants of single, semi-detached or terraced houses. You usually rent the garden automatically. The rental contract stipulates the rights and obligations associated with the use of the garden.

Duties of the tenant: Simple gardening, low cost
If the tenant and landlord agree in the rental contract that the tenant will take care of the garden, the outside area belongs to the so-called “leased property” – and thus the tenant must keep it in a contractual condition (§535 BGB). It must not let a garden with moss-free lawn and beautifully planted beds decay or become wild. In order to avoid this, however, the tenant only undertakes gardening work that requires neither expertise nor costs a lot of money. These include:

cut grass
Removing foliage
dig up flowerbeds

The necessary garden tools such as lawn mowers, sections or rakes must be purchased by the tenant himself. The law does not determine how intensively he has to take care of the garden. As a rule, the landlord is not allowed to give him any concrete specifications.

If the tenant has also rented the outside area, he may use it within the framework of legal requirements: The construction of playground equipment such as sandbox, swing and slide as well as the planting of the garden according to your own ideas is largely permitted. However, the landlord must coordinate with the landlord on far-reaching changes such as tearing out trees, building a garden house or creating a garden pond.

Larger works have to be done by the landlord
Unless otherwise agreed in the rental contract, the landlord is generally responsible for the entire care of the garden. However, if the contract contains a general wording such as “the tenant takes over the gardening”, complex work such as pruning the branches of a tall tree, scarifying and replanting the lawn or cutting down a dead tree is the responsibility of the landlord – unless he has also expressly transferred this gardening work to his tenants in the rental contract. However, the owner can then apportion the costs incurred to his tenants as part of the operating costs settlement.

Tenant may take his own plants with him when moving out
Hobby gardeners put a lot of work, money and time into gardening. Many of them would like to take the hard-won plants with them when they move. The lessee is then also entitled to this right. The flowers, bushes or trees set by the tenant himself remain the property of the tenant – even after he has moved out. Exceptions here are deeply rooted bushes and trees, which can only be removed with considerable effort and damage the surrounding garden area. These become the property of the landlord at the end of the lease. Because: The tenant may not leave a plucked field to his next tenant. If he removes parts of the planting, he must restore the garden as far as possible to the state in which he took it over when he moved in. Playground equipment, ponds or tree houses must then also be dismantled or dismantled. This is the only way for the landlord to get his leased property back in a condition that can be re-leased. If you want to find out more about garden care, please check this out: Broadleaf Tree Surgery Staplehurst


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