Lawnmowers – do landlords have to provide them?

by Mark Alexander

5 years ago

Lawnmowers – do landlords have to provide them?

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Lawnmowers – do landlords have to provide them?

“I need to use grass cutting machine” said my Polish tenant when he called me one Saturday afternoon. You mean a lawnmower I said, don’t you have one?

“My friend say that you must provide” he replied.

Was he right? I’d let the house unfurnished, surely he should buy his own lawnmower? None of my other tenants with gardens had ever asked me to buy them a lawnmower. What a cheek I thought. I told him I’d look into it and to be honest I forgot.

A few months later I drove past the house. I knocked on the door but he wasn’t in. You can guess why I knocked on the door can’t you? Yep, the garden was a jungle. The lady from next door recognised me from the time she’d seen me at the show home picking out the kitchen. She wasn’t impressed either. Your tenants are de-valuing my home she said, I hate you bloody landlords, there’s six people renting the house next door and they are party animals. I paid good money for my house ………….. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH ……….. the rant went on for some time.

This was my first experience of anti landlord behaviour and to be fair, she had a point. What I’d not taken into account is that one of the areas I’d bought into had become an “investment ghetto”. I’d chosen to invest there on the basis that a mobile phone repair company had moved to the area and was taking on hundreds of Polish and Lithuanian immigrants. They didn’t mind house sharing at all and by letting to them individually I could make good returns. The trouble was, I wasn’t the only property investor to have come to this conclusion and all the Polish and Lithuanian people wanted to live together and form a community, who could blame them for that?

About the lawnmower requirement

lawnmower-landlord-tenant-law-grass-cutting

“Landlords are obliged to provide lawnmowers if tenants are required to cut grass”

Anyhow, I took advice (it was a long time ago so I don’t recall whether it was from a landlords association or a solicitor) and I was advised that I was obliged to get the lawns cut or provide said “grass cutting machine” if I wanted the tenants to do it. UPDATE – (Friday 13th July 2012 – typical!) that’s not the final word on this matter – please see the readers comments below. So off I trot to Homebase and buy 11 lawnmowers (one for each property with a garden), not thinking how I might get them all in the car. I was pretty chuffed though, just think of all those Nectar points 🙂

I hired a van and the problem was sorted, or so I thought!

Being such a nice chap I even offered to cut the grass and tidy up the garden to placate the angry lady next door. What a crap idea that was, it was back breaking work (remember I spend most of my day at a desk or in the car) and despite chocolates and flowers for the angry lady I’m still no better off. I should have hired a gardener!

I really don’t know what happened to the lady next door but I did hear about a lot of repossessions in that area. Parking became a major issue for a long time too. I didn’t buy those repossessions, perhaps I should have done, but to be honest I felt guilty.

Lesson learned – avoid property investment ghettos

What I had learned about providing tenants with a lawnmower paled into insignificance really. I was very quickly going off the idea of buying new build properties and I wanted to change the demographic of my tenants. I started to think about 25 years down the line when the mortgages came to an end and my generation would all want to sell up their property investments and retire. Who would buy them, who would rent them? It was this experience which persuaded me to change my strategy, suburban bungalows were the way to go. Older people would rent them, they would stay longer, they are of a generation that takes care of things, other landlords were not targeting their demographic. I also realised that they all had pets and landlords don’t like pet owners do they? I’d found my little niche for the future 🙂

Comments

If letting unfurnished and the tenant has responsibility for the gardens as per a basic garden care clause then the tenant has to provide the lawnmower.
The Landlord has to if fully furnished.

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

@9637f7cb8c475969733a483597e86ad2:disqus - that's what I used to think but I was wrong too. By all means check with a Landlords Association or a solicitor if you like. If you have a garden and you want the tenants to cut the grass you must provide a lawnmower, that's the law, regardless of whther the property is furnished or not.

Nat Patel

5 years ago

hello,I always provided my tenants lawnmowers for 7 properties.always polite with them and they always good to me but I had nasty surprise too.Even given lawnmower few of them never cut grass and phone call from neighbour reminded me . so I have had to go and teach them how to use and they done so.

Mark

5 years ago

Okay, if you have to provide a lawnmower, which I am suprised at if, as mentioned, you are letting an unfurnished property, what type must it be? Can it be a staright forward push type, or does it have to be electric or petrol? Getting an electric one then goes into the area of PAT - yet more problems!- (injury and insurance also come to mind).
One of my properties has a lawn, which I have not provided a lawnmower for, as I had let it unfurnished, so should I get a lawnmower, or charge the tenants for a gardner, if they do not cut the grass?

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

The law does note state what type of lawnmower you must provide. What it does say is that tenants are under no obligation to cut the grass if you don't provide one. Therefore, if you don't provide a lawnmower you can't just charge you tenants to cut the grass as they would be well within their rights to refuse to pay. If you own a property with gardens and the tenant is taking care of them without you providing a lawnmower I'd suggest you let sleeping dogs lay.

Lawn Mowers UK

5 years ago

the best information I have ever noticed

Antony Richards

5 years ago

Mark, please could you provide the legislation that says you have to buy a lawn mower. I happen to think you are wrong. Taken to its logical conclusion you then have to provide a vacuum cleaner if you want the carpets cleaned

Mark Alexander

5 years ago

I believe it's covered in section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, if in doubt please consult a solicitor or a landlords association as I did.

Antony Richards

5 years ago

Mark,

I have checked Section 11 LTA 1987. No mention there

Antony

Antony Richards MRICS FAAV
Antony Richards Property Services

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Antony Richards

5 years ago

I have checked S 11 LTA 1985. No mention there. I'll research further

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