When someone rents a property they are usually renting the entire property which means they are also responsible for the lawns, gardens, external walls, eve’s etc.
Many tenants are unsure what that responsibility means. Which is fair enough. What does it mean knowing you are responsible for the lawns ? This article should give you a guide.
At the very least a tenant needs to keep the lawn mowed. What tenants become unsure about is how often. Of course this will depend on the time of year, the weather and how fast the lawn grows. When a lawn is mowed often, like weekly the lawn will thicken up, spread better and look thick and healthy. Most of Asset Agents leases in the Annexure item 18 state that lawns need to be mowed at least twice a month in the warmer months.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO NOT MOW A LAWN OFTEN ENOUGH
Sometimes a tenant will mow a lawn very infrequently. The issue with this is when a lawn is now mowed often it becomes unhealthy. It then starts to thin out, when this happens weeds can easily get in. You’ll get brown patches & even dead patches. Once a lawn gets to this point it takes considerable time to bring the lawn back to how it looked on the entry condition report when a tenant first moved in. It’s certainly something that can’t be “fixed” a few weeks prior to when a tenant vacates.
If your lawn is not looking very healthy you need to get onto that quickly. I’ve found that mowing often, water, and slow release fertiliser makes a really big difference. You are spoilt for choice with fertilisers and I know many people love the weed and feed that you connect to a hose. If that does the job great. My personal preference is a granular slow release fertilise that I get from Lindsay Rural I find that putting this on my lawn 3 times a year is what’s needed to keep it looking healthy. It also lasts longer than a liquid fertiliser too.
LAWN AND WEEDS
Tenants are responsible to ensure the lawns are weed free. Mowing weekly makes a big difference to keeping weeds out of your lawn but it’s important to realise that mowing weeds is not the answer. The weeds need to be removed. So if you are not using the weed and feed, you need to consider a broad leaf weed killer that you can safely spray onto the lawn and it will kill the weeds but not the lawn. I find I need to do this at least once a month to keep onto weeds in my lawn. A 5k spray pack from Bunnings is also very helpful.
These things are nasty. They can destroy a lawn in days. If you notice your lawn going brown in certain areas, you need to inform your property manager immediately, as it’s very possible you have lawn grubs. Unfortunately the healthier your lawn is the more likely it is you’ll get lawn grubs. You can buy a liquid pester side that will kill these but Lindsey Rural also sell a granular option that is slow release and will last up to 6 months. Usually lawn grub is an issue in the warmer months, so treating your lawn with the slow release granular around Oct will give you up to 6 months protection all through the hearer period of the year.
Yes tenants are responsible for these too. These are nowhere near as important as the lawn itself, but they do need to be kept neat and tidy. I’d suggest in the warmer months keeping these trimmed a minimum of once a month.
WEEDS IN GARDENS
I find that a zero pest spray is the fastest and easiest way to keep on top of these. I’ve also learnt that if I do this monthly it’s fairly quick to deal with. Of course Zero is dangerous stuff, it kills anything it comes in touch with so you need to be super careful and ensure it does not drift onto plants, or the lawn. If you are using a 5kg spray pack you also can’t use the same spray pack that you do for the broad leaf killer as the zero chemical will still be in the bottle and just kill the lawn.
TRIMMING PLANTS AND HEDGES
Tenants also need to keep plants and hedges all nicely trimmed. Depending on the plant, you may only need to do this a few times a year, but some plants need to be cut back more frequently like at least monthly. The good news is if the property has any high trees or hedges, legislation states that you are not responsible for looking after those.
Here is another area tenants get confused about. A tenant is also responsible for the removal of any green waste. That includes palm fronds and anything else that might fall from a tree.
OTHER EXTERNAL AREAS TO LOOK AFTER
So with lawns and gardens covered, it’s also common for people not to realise they also need to be looking after the driveways, paths, sides of house, eaves etc. These all need to be kept clean and mould free.
ANNEXE OF AN ASSET AGENTS LEASE
This is item 18 of most of our leases that outline to the tenants what’s required of them
(18) Garden & Lawn Maintenance Tenant is required to maintain the garden areas including weeding and watering of plants when required. Lawns are to be mowed, at least twice a month during Sept to March and at least once a month April to August. Weeds in the lawn and garden are to be treated at least every 4 weeks. Driveway, pathway and garden hedges, are to be kept tidy. Plants in gardens are to be trimmed. Garden waste like branches, leaves and palm fronds are to be removed from the property every 4 weeks.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU KEEP ON TOP OF LAWNS AND GARDEN
I get it. Mowers break. Today people are busy. Summer is hot. Sometimes people also become unwell. If you fall into this situation consider engaging a professional like Jim’s mowing. They may not be able to fertilise or spray the weeds but they can at leases do the edges and the lawns on a regular basis to ensure they are being looked after properly