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BTL landlord fined £7k for allowing garden to become ‘extensively’ overgrown

A landlord has been ordered to pay £7,000 for neglecting the garden at one of his properties and allowing to become severely overgrown, having not cut the grass for seven years.

Leighton Dowding, 45, acquired the property in Downend, Bristol, in 2012, but given that he lives 150 miles away in Brighton, he left the house completely empty and failed to maintain the grounds.

Fly-tipped waste began to pile up next to a dilapidated shed in the front garden, whilst weeds cluttered the long back garden.


The 45-year-old landlord was served with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) in August 2017, and a subsequent Remedial Order in May 2018, ordering him to clear all the overgrown vegetation.

But none of the work was ever started at the mid-terraced house and Bristol Magistrates’ Court ordered Dowding to pay a £4,800 in fine and £2,200 in costs to South Gloucestershire Council.

Cllr Steve Reade, South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member for planning, transport and strategic environment, said: “We are working to bring long-term empty properties in our area back into use to help meet the local housing need.

“Before following this course of action, we had previously written to and contacted the owner several times about their property and repeatedly offered advice and assistance, without any continuing response.

“Where necessary, we will use enforcement powers to bring empty properties back into use which require an owner to maintain the property in reasonable condition if it is adversely affecting the locality.

“Allowing empty properties to continue to have a detrimental effect on the local neighbourhood will not be tolerated.”

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    He has had 2 yrs to clear it, 150 miles in this day and age is not that far, there and back and cleared in a day, why did he not do it?

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    Why didn't he let the property and make a tenant do it? I always make tenants responsible for keeping gardens tidy, windows clean and promptly reporting anything needing my attention. He can obviously afford the fine when he's turned away much more in potential rental income over the period. For once I'm on the. Council's side.

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    It’s my understanding that LL’s are not allowed to require the Tenants to keep the Garden.
    We might as well give them the Property but that would never do, then they might actually have to do something.

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    • 19 June 2019 12:03 PM

    Surely all the environs of the rental property have to be maintained in a tenant like manner.
    Of course the LL provides the requisite equipment to facilitate garden management.
    The tenant doesn't just rent a house he rents the whole plot as described in the AST.

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    If he had rented it out he would have stated in his Tenancy Agreement that its a condition of the tenancy that the garden is maintained. If the prospect did not like that condition of the landlords tenancy then he does not become a tenant. Simple.
    On 2 or 3 monthly inspections if garden not maintained the tenant should be given 7 days to sort if not send in contractor and bill tenant. Simples.

    • 19 June 2019 12:10 PM

    I suppose a LL could always recommend a Gardner they use at their cost if they can't be bothered to maintain a garden.Once a month is surely sufficient at say £50.
    Or is that price way off!!?
    If I was a tenant I'd gladly pay that to keep the garden in order.
    I hate gardening!!

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    If only life was that simple. I had a major Housing Association wanting to rent from me, they also insisted I should do the garden as equipment could not be supplied to the Tenant because they might cut themselves or Course they are far more important than me its ok fore cut myself.


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