Choosing the right gardener for your block of flats

Choosing the right gardener for your block of flats

A difficult part of residential property management that many don’t naturally think of is how to employ and manage contractors. Finding and hiring the correct gardener with a green thumb for the block of flats you manage is sometimes easier said than done. It is important that you understand what employers’ liability is and which block of flats insurance policy you’ll require for protection when employing a contractor. Learn how to begin with our top tips:

Evaluating the garden

The first task you need to do is to take a good look at the garden of your residential block and evaluate what you need. Once you have decided what kind of gardening service you require, you will then have a clearer idea about your employer’s liability. Depending on the size of the job, you will need to have some form of directors and officers liability cover. This will help to protect you against any potential claims made against you.

Individual gardeners and general contractors will need to know what their duties are. Gardeners all have a basic knowledge of horticulture. But the trees, flowers, fountains, and decorations in your communal garden may need a contractor with particular specialities. It is also likely that you will have to investigate specialised lawn treatment after droughts and hot spells. This is still the case even if you only have a simple strip of British lawn surrounding your residential block of flats.

Finding and choosing a gardener

Finding a good gardener, especially at a good rate, can be surprisingly difficult. While you might instantly run to Google, word of mouth, as well as estate agents and tenants themselves, can be a good source of contacts and recommendations.

When you have done a bit of research, you should check the following questions:

  • How experienced is the gardener/contractor?
  • What references do they have? Can you trust their references?
  • Do they have a complaints procedure?
  • Do they have experience with managing a block of flat’s communal garden?
  • Does my insurance for block of flats cover me for hiring contractors to work on my property?
  • Do I have employer’s liability in my current flats insurance policy?

The answers to these questions will depend on what and who you are looking for. If you have a large communal garden for your residential property, you may want to even investigate if your potential gardener has a license to spray pesticides.

So, what is employer’s liability? Whether working with an individual or an agency, you must ensure that they are not at risk. This also includes any residents, employees and visitors not being at risk from the gardener’s actions. It is important to understand your own potential employer’s liability before bringing in contractors to work on your property. Not knowing what employers’ liability is and having the wrong kind of block of flats insurance could lead to more harm than good. For example, a claim being made against you by a contractor or one of your tenants.

An extract from the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states:

“Section 3 requires employers to ensure that: their activities do not endanger persons, not in their employ, and information is given concerning potential health and safety hazards.

Section 4 places duties on occupiers and/or owners of premises to ensure that: the premises, plant and substances contained in them are safe and without risks to health, and reasonable measures are taken to provide safe access.”


If you are managing a block of flats and responsible for hiring contractors, we recommend Directors and Officers Liability cover. This provides you with protection against claims for financial losses by residents or third parties. We offer cover for employers liability and a number of other services for landlords who run a block of flats. Insurance for blocks of flats is a must, especially if you are considering hiring contractors like gardeners.  

Want to check what type of block of flats insurance you need? Get in contact with our block of flats insurance advisors on 0800 7316242 or get your free block of flats insurance online quote now.