Who Is Responsible for Tree Removal & Trimming: Landlord or Tenant?
Trees in a rental property are an enormous attraction for renters. Trees create an environment around the home that attunes to the human body, mind, and spirit. People who live around trees are often happier and healthier. Trees purify the air and attract birds that make the home more enjoyable.
Having trees around a home adds an alluring ambiance that no artificial feature can recreate. For tenants with small children, trees provide a place to create memorable childhood experiences. The shade of trees will also help keep the home cool and cut down on the energy bills.
Trees are the perfect adornment for a home until it is time to look after them. Foothills Managements warns that as attractive as trees are around a rental property, they can also be a great nuisance. Invasive tree roots and overhanging branches are just two ways trees can hurt people and damage property. When there are trees in your rental property, you must control their growth to ensure:
- Safety: Falling tree branches are one of the biggest causes of personal injury and property damage. Even the roots of small trees, if given enough time, will destroy drain pipes, plumbing systems, the home’s landscaping, driveways, and the building’s foundations.
- Curb appeal: Overgrown tree branches will diminish the appeal a tree is supposed to add to your home. Dead or diseased trees reduce the aesthetic appeal of a rental house and hurt the property owner’s investment.
- Tree health: Controlling how a tree grows encourages healthier growth and better fruit production. When you trim a tree, the resources that redundant parts were consuming are diverted for healthier growth.
But who should be responsible for tree removal and trimming? Landlords and tenants need to address this question. The person who lives in a rental is usually not the person who owns the property. Should the owner or tenant be responsible for trimming the trees in a rental home?
Who is responsible for tree trimming and removal in a rental property?
The owner of a rental property is responsible for the overall condition of their property. That includes; maintaining the interior features of the home and the external features of the property. These exterior features include the fencing, siding, walkways, landscaping, and any trees on the premises.
Most landlords are aware of their responsibility for maintaining the interior of a rental. But they don’t give as much thought to maintaining the home’s exterior as they give to the interior. Yet similar legal requirements apply to the interior and exterior. Moreover, it is to the owner’s advantage to maintain the external area of their property.
Why landlords are responsible for tree removal and trimming
Tree removal and trimming are vital for protecting the building’s physical structures and maintaining its habitability as a rental property. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable home for the tenants who lease your property.
Part of that responsibility is ensuring the trees around the home do not interfere with the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment. Tenants may feel that this right has been violated if trees threaten them or tree roots act in ways that make it difficult to live in the home.
But the landlord’s responsibility for tree removal and trimming is not just about making tenants happy. It is also about preventing anything that can damage the property. Looking after the trees in your rental home is not different from avoiding water damage to the property.
As a landlord, you do not want the tenants to cut tree branches at random since that could affect the curb appeal of your rental. You also don’t want to leave the removal of invasive tree roots to the discretion of tenants. Tree maintenance should be part of your preventative maintenance for the home.
Why tree removal and trimming is vital for landlords
- Trees and your HVAC
Trees can help your HVAC systems work better, or they can wreak havoc on them. They can drastically cut down on the amount of work your HVAC does by reducing the external temperature of the home. But trees can also hurt your HVAC system if tree pollen, leaves, and flowers find their way into the system. Trimming trees will help you boost the benefits while avoiding problems.
- Trees improve value
With more tenants becoming concerned about the air quality inside and around the home, a tree’s natural air purification system will make your home more attractive to higher-quality renters. A rental property with well-maintained trees will let you charge higher rents.
- Protect your tenants and your property
If trees are not properly maintained, you risk tenants’ lives and property and expose yourself to the risk of lawsuits. Unbalanced trees are a disaster waiting to happen; it may only take the next storm to bring them down. Ill-maintained trees also become a haven for pests.