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Tenant has dug up lawn

Started by smfm100, June 29, 2024, 06:38:13 PM

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Hi -just discovered this. the tenant didnt ask and as I dont inspect the property probably thought I wouldnt find out -  parked his vehicle on it.  what would you do? They have done lots of other stuff in the past in terms of taking up carpet, wallpapering over plastered walls without asking and because it didnt seem too big a deal and they say have no intentions of moving out - I have not said anything but this takes the biscuit tbh


You could ask them to pick a section between 20 and 22.


They have no intention of moving out.

You don't imply, here, you have any great care about the property... nor do you indicate that you want to change Tenant, or that the current ones don't pay the rent.

So, why does it bother you so much then?

What would I do? WWJD?

I'd note it, but not create a fuss. To do so doesn't seem beneficial. I'd come to terms with it, and realise I'd already set the precedent through inaction. The tail wags the dog here.

Hopefully you get a house back when the tenancy finally concludes, for now - take the rent and keep on doing that.

At least with a fully documented Inventory (inc. detailed photos) no lawn vs. lawn can be easily demonstrated.


At the end of the tenancy, if the property is worth less it would be otherwise (and it's hard to see that a missing lawn is fair wear and tear), you can claim compensation. In the meantime, so what?


I think I would send a polite letter,  saying that I have noted the change.  Point out that the property will have to be returned eventually as it was when they moved in, and that removing said lawn will not count as wear and tear.  It is very discourteous of them, and they may take the hint.   

I would be very annoyed and tempted to serve notice, but then I would weigh up the hassle of getting new tenants against ones who want to stay and keep paying rent. I like- not to say love-  long- term tenants who pay rent on time.


thanks all.  I think you are all on the same wavelength,  with heavykarma summing how I feel the best and I will follow that suggestion of how to handle it.


I feel like commenting further.

It seems there was agreement from all responding parties - most succinctly put with - "In the meantime, so what?"

But a [polite] letter isn't following that. A letter of any nature only has the potential to anger the Tenant, or make them feel smothered, or watched. The lawn thing has already happened. It can't be stopped. It's not like they're planning it, like a master villain, and your letter can advert disaster. Sending a letter to remind them of what should already be gloriously outlined in your AST (and is well-established in tenancy norms) seems a waste of time - and is just as likely to encourage further transgression. To me, that route seems like a giant waste of time. If there's no lawn still, at tenancy end, you will have to do just the same 'work', letter or no letter. So the letter is inconsequential beyond telegraphing your own pique to others, when it's best to keep that pique bottled-up (especially seeing as it was AWOL with any prior issues). Your lawn has gone. This is just my view. Doing nothing can be a [beneficial] decision.


I am not suggesting a bossy lecture, merely letting them know it is noted. Are you a teeny  bit peeved that my suggestion got some approval ? x 


Just pointing-out there's more downside than upside. The Tenant already has a track record, so does the Landlord, and a letter will come-off as a bossy lecture, so matter how well crafted.


I can see validity in all suggestions but ultimately I felt I needed to ask them of their plans via a text and they say they are planning to make it look a lot better - (currently it just looks like a dug up lawn with a bit of hardcore thrown down)  so hopefully they do - and I feel better for asking :)   thanks for all your help


I would be concerned that the garden they have dug up may not have the foundations to support the weight of a car, it may damage drains and other services not only to the property but water or other services to neighbours.

I would be writing a much firmer letter now while you have some leverage, explain the term that has been breached, that you will be getting a surveyor to assess any damage they have caused, you will then be restoring the lawn and expecting them to settle all costs.

I would remind them that they have breached the Tenancy Agreement terms in regard to Decor etc but you will deal with that at the end of the Tenancy when they will be expected to return the property to the state it was when let.  Meanwhile they must immediately cease and desist from using the garden to park any vehicle and remain liable for any consequential costs to neighbours, the water company and any other service providers.


What right does a landlord have to " restor[e] the lawn" and then be "expecting them to settle all costs"? You can write and threaten that, but you can only do it if they consent (and I'd advise them not to).


that sounds really frustrating. If I were you, I'd have a serious talk with the tenant. Just let them know you've noticed the vehicle and remind them about the lease terms. Mention the past issues too, and explain that they need to ask for permission before making any changes. Make it clear that while you've been lenient before, this can't continue. You could even outline consequences if they keep overstepping. It's important to set those boundaries to avoid future problems.


Why don't you inspect the property? You are taking a big risk by not doing that.