After the short answer? Here it is: yes, duplexes share a backyard. More often than not you will both have access to the same area at the front of the property too.
Now, if that quick answer just isn’t enough for you, we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty details straight away. Ready? Let’s jump right in!
The green space surrounding your duplex (i.e. the backyard and the front yard) will be shared with your next-door neighbor. It is simply an unavoidable part of renting or owning this type of home!
To maintain a nice relationship with the family, couple, or person living next-door, you must take care of this outdoor space. Leaving it in a state, hoping that your neighbors will clean it up is just terrible manners.
Think of it this way: if the shoe was on the other foot, how would you like it? You wouldn’t! So, just be respectful.
Alongside the general maintenance that a backyard brings with it, you need to look out for your pets. When they are out in the yard, always pick up after them.
Otherwise, your neighbor is going to get a nasty present on the bottom of their foot — and nobody wants that!
Some landlords may even specify that pets are not allowed in their duplexes for this very reason.
You will need to check your contract, however. Why? Because even if you can have pets in your home, they may have to be on a leash at all times when they’re in the backyard.
This isn’t a life that most animals would be happy with! So, bear that in mind too.
What Are Your Backyard Responsibilities?
Again, you need to check your contract when it comes to the exact responsibilities that you have when it comes to your backyard.
In some situations, the landlord will hire a professional lawn care company who will sort out the lawn for you. The cost of this is usually jammed into your monthly rent payment, so you don’t have to worry about it.
In other situations, it will be up to both you and your neighbor to maintain the lawn.
This means mowing and sowing the grass at regular intervals throughout the year.
Don’t stress, you only have to take care of your side of the backyard, not the entire space.
If your landlord has planted trees, bushes, or flowers around the perimeter (or in flower beds), you will need to weed, trim, and fertilize these as and when needed. Just check your contract before you start hacking away at everything!
For those of you who do not have green fingers, this probably doesn’t sound appealing. However, if it’s stated in your signed contract, you’re going to have to deal with it or hire someone to do it for you. The exact route you take is completely up to you, of course.
Our Advice? Get To Know Your Duplex Neighbor
When you first move in, it is unlikely that you will know your neighbor. But, we advise you to get to know them.
Otherwise, using your backyard could turn into a chore rather than a relaxing experience.
People sharing a backyard will be angered by several things, including:
- Dog excrement — not only does it smell bad, but it is also very unsightly. Your neighbor will not appreciate this, especially if they don’t have dogs themselves.
- Unruly dogs — again, if you’re the only household that has a dog, people won’t take too kindly to this. You should check to make sure your neighbors aren’t afraid of dogs, otherwise, you are just going to be causing problems left, right, and center. Regardless, they will need to be on a leash at all times because if your precious pooch nips your neighbor, you might have a lawsuit on your hands.
- Untidy lawns — yep, this annoys people more than you can imagine. But keep up with the maintenance and you’ll be fine.
Living in a duplex with a shared backyard can be challenging at times but it doesn’t have to be.
As long as you establish a good relationship with your neighbors and you each keep your word, everything will be wonderful.