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Landlord and Tenant Guide to Lawn and Garden Maintenance Responsibilities

27 February 2024

Understanding lawn and garden maintenance responsibilities in a rental property is important. Let's break it down simply.

When tenants first move into a place, it's the landlord's job to hand over the keys with the property looking clean and tidy, garden included. From then on, the tenant is usually responsible for looking after the property. This includes mowing the lawns and weeding the gardens.

What does the tenant usually do? 🌿

  • Keep the outdoor areas reasonably clean and tidy
  • Mowing lawns, weeding gardens and managing leaf fall
  • Wash the windows
  • At the end of the tenancy, leave the outside as neat as they found it

And what does the landlord do? 🏡

  • Pruning and maintaining trees and plants
  • Making sure everything's healthy and safe. After a wild storm or if trees start encroaching with power lines
  • Taking care of the bigger picture: washing the house, cleaning gutters, and maintenance that's more about ladders and paint than lawns and leaves.

If the landlord is happy to look after lawns, it's important to discuss this prior and include this in the tenancy agreement.

What if things go wrong? 🚩

If there is a disagreement about the state of the garden, it's best to have a conversation first. Regular inspections, agreed upon in advance, can help ensure compliance and address any issues proactively.

If the tenant is not fulfilling their responsibilities, you have the right to issue a 14-day notice to remedy. This notice should clearly outline the issue and the expected resolution. If the situation is not rectified within the given timeframe, seeking resolution through the Tenancy Tribunal is the next step.

Read more: Maintenance and Repairs: who's responsible?

The information contained in this article is exclusively for promotional purposes. It does not in any way constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for any legal action or contractual dealings. The information is not, and does not attempt to be, a comprehensive account of the relevant law in New Zealand. If you require legal advice you should seek independent legal counsel. does not accept any liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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