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Household Hotspots in focus: the garden

Not every home has a garden, and as such claims relating to gardens observed by tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland tend to be less frequent than those originating in other areas of a property. Whereas issues such as cleaning or damage can crop up in any household, gardening claims will only be a concern for certain homes. In this instalment of Household Hotspots in focus, we head outside for a look at the garden, and how to prevent deposit disputes arising there. Household Hotspots is a regular feature of our quarterly Key Matters magazine, where SafeDeposits Scotland Resolution Team Leader Samantha Gardner examines the types of dispute that can arise from common household rooms.

Some landlords will employ a professional gardener to take care of outdoor areas. If this is the case, this information should be included in the tenancy agreement, as well as details on what the tenant is required and not required to do. Tenants should also respect the work of the gardener and do their best not to make their job more difficult, for example allowing litter to accumulate in the garden. The tenancy agreement should also clarify who is responsible for ensuring that guttering is clear.

When it comes to outside furniture, metal items can rust. If protective covers have been provided for furniture, this should be highlighted in the tenancy agreement. Instructions for the treatment of any features such as decking or fences should also be included, as well as expectations for any plants that require specific care.

A list of any out buildings such as sheds or greenhouses as well as their contents should be included in the inventory. For any tools that have been made available for use by the tenant, such as lawnmowers, the tenant should be provided with instructions on their use and maintenance.

The garden is naturally affected by weather conditions and the changing seasons more than the interior of the property. When making claims against deposits held by tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland, landlords and letting agents should consider this. For example a flowerbed that was blooming at the beginning of the tenancy in July should not be expected to look the same if the tenant was to leave the property during winter. If any garden features such as fences or trees suffer damage from weather related problems, such as strong winds, the tenant should notify the landlord at the earliest opportunity.

SafeDeposits Scotland is a government approved tenancy deposit scheme in Scotland, and is the only scheme based in Scotland. We hold the deposit during the tenancy and return to the tenant at the end of the tenancy when the landlord or letting agent has agreed to repayment. We also provide an impartial adjudication service for tenants and landlords if they can't come to an agreement. Find out more about SafeDeposits Scotland and what we do.

Tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland | SafeDeposits Scotland
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