Recent high winds have been playing havoc with gardens and parks across the leafy North Shore. As we move in to winter, it’s the ideal time to prune, mulch, lop and tidy up gardens, not just to make them look better but also for the safety of residents. Some landlords include garden maintenance in the rent to keep their property in top condition, however the majority of leases place responsibility for gardening on the tenants. However, it is the landlord’s responsibility to provide tenants with a safe living environment, which includes taking action on dangerous trees, noxious weeks or overgrown shrubs. Trimming trees and overhanging shrubs avoids scratching to paintwork or window damage, and by reducing leaves in gutters, it also prevents rain collecting or overflowing and causing water damage or damp on walls and ceilings. If you or your tenant has concerns about the safety of trees on your property, you should consult a qualified arborist and check Council regulations on tree preservation and pruning. Finally, check that your insurance covers damage by trees, both on your home and rental properties. Forsyth’s Property Management department can organise for licensed and insured handymen, gardeners and arborists to carry out anything from a quick tidy up to major tree surgery to ensure your garden, your property and your tenants are safe and ready for winter.