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Tenants calls out landlord over shady plan for yard alterations: 'It's a loss of amenity'

"The landlord has recently started the process of getting quotes…"

“The landlord has recently started the process of getting quotes..."

Photo Credit: iStock

Renting a home can sometimes leave tenants in unfortunate situations beyond their control. In the UK nearly 20% of people are renters, while in the U.S., it's around 36%. Being a renter has left one Redditor in the UK fighting for their garden space. 

In a post on Reddit, a tenant posted a question asking for suggestions and advice on how to handle a landlord attempting to fence off a portion of their garden. 

"The landlord has recently started the process of getting quotes etc to have a fence put up to cut the garden to separate the space to the rear of the garage so she can offer this as extended storage space for those renting the garage. This will cut off about 40% of our garden." 

The Redditor went on the add that the landlord had mentioned this plan shortly after they moved, and while they expressed their interest in keeping access to the garden their landlord "basically said 'well if you don't want this then you'll have to leave after the 11 months is up.'"

This post was in r/LegalAdviceUK, so the original poster was hoping for some legal basis for fighting the loss of their garden space. 

Landlords are in a position of power over their tenants, and while there are laws that protect tenants, it's often very hard to argue with someone who holds the literal key to your house.

On the UK tenants rights page, it appears that tenants are allowed to "live in the property undisturbed." Taking 40% of a garden feels like it could count as a disturbance to the tenant. 

Having access to greenspace is beneficial to your health, and gardens specifically have been shown to be beneficial from both a social and a health standpoint. The hobby of gardening has shown to decrease depression. Beyond the physical and psychological benefits, gardens also have an ecological benefit. 

Green spaces like parks, gardens and even planter boxes all reduce the impact of climate change by helping mitigate air pollution. Additionally many urban areas have combined sewer overflow systems, and greenspace helps reduce issues of flooding and waste runoff.

Commenters on the post had suggestions for the Redditor. One poster pointed out, "Even if the garden is not explicitly mentioned in the tenancy agreement there will likely have been pictures of it in the listing or as part of the inventory and you can quite reasonably argue it was 'rented as seen.'" While someone else said, "It's a loss of amenity and the rent should be lowered accordingly."

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