The action a tenant needs to take in relation to a garden should be clearly set out in the tenancy agreement. Tenants should always read the tenancy agreement before signing it and if you have any questions ask your potential landlord beforehand.

Generally speaking, a tenant should be expected to keep a garden neat, including paths, lawn and flowerbeds and to return the garden in the same condition as at check in. The garden should be seen as an extension house. The same principle as the inside of the property.

A tenant should not be expected to be a gardening expert, or to undertake significant pruning of hedges or bushes. If there are unusual feature in a garden that the landlord wants the tenant to be responsible for, full instructions should be provided.

If the proper and expert maintenance of the garden is of particular importance to the landlord, it might be worth getting a professional contractor to deal with the outside space during the tenancy. It would be a matter of negotiation when the lease is drawn up as to who meets the cost of the service.

It is also a good idea to make sure that gardening equipment is supplied, included in the inventory and is in good working order at the start of the tenancy.

Remember that you should also take account of seasonal factors. If a property is let in the summer and vacated in the winter, the condition of the garden will appear different even if it has been generally maintained during the tenancy.

As with all other issues in a tenancy, you need to make sure that the garden and its condition are properly covered by the inventory. This should include information about different areas of the garden, including any outside buildings and their contents as well as fencing, garden gates and any refuse/bin facilities.

Good quality photographs are also very useful additional evidence for gardens. Make sure any images are taken from the same angle at the start and end of the tenancy and, as far as possible, in the same lighting conditions.

The key to gardening is regularly light maintenance so it never builds up in to a huge task. Always consider before signing a tenancy agreement if you're willing to take on the responsibility of the garden.