Thankfully, the vast majority of projects which landscapers from undertake are completed successfully and they will have notched up yet another delighted customer, happy to sing their praises to anyone who enquires about their newly landscaped garden. However, occasionally things do not go so smoothly, and the landscaper and the client end up in a dispute.

Whilst a rare scenario, nonetheless it is one which landscapers need to be prepared for, as occasionally a project will not go to plan due to circumstances out with their control. It might be that a landscaping business can negotiate with the client to resolve whatever problem has arisen, but what if that is not possible? Well, this is where an organisation called The Landscape Association could be the solution.

What Is The Landscape Association?

The Landscape Association (TLA) was formed in 1979  and since then it has grown to be a highly respected body that represents hundreds of landscapers and landscaping businesses. Some of its main objectives are to raise the public’s awareness of the landscaping industry and to promote the highest quality and standards in specific areas of landscaping such as design, construction, and maintenance. Other objectives of TLA include:

  • Acting as a united voice for the industry and its members in matters such as legislation, regulations, and working conditions
  • Advocating industry recognised training and qualifications
  • Advancing discussions relating to environmental matters
  • Holding annual awards for excellence in areas such as design, innovation, and skills
  • Creating links and common interests with other industries, organisations, and government bodies
  • Promoting the landscaping industry in the media, online, and at trade shows and exhibitions

The Landscaping Association’s Code Of Ethics

Underpinning much of the work that TLA does is its Code of Ethics which all landscapers who become members must adhere to. Each member must commit to:

  • Treating all clients fairly
  • Upholding high standards of work
  • Complying with the prevailing local building, construction, and safety standards
  • Treating employees with respect, fairly, and ensuring their safety
  • Doing nothing to discredit the association or the industry

In addition to its code of ethics, The Landscape Association also has a code of fair business practices, and it also insists that all its members act with financial integrity at all times.

TLA’s Dispute Resolution Process

One of the roles that The Landscape Association plays to the benefit of both its members and the clients of its members is in dispute resolution and this involves its mediation process. If a client has tried to resolve an issue with a landscaper and no satisfactory resolution can be agreed upon, TLA can offer this mediation process to try and unblock the en passe.

The first step is for the client to complete and submit the TLA’s ‘Complaints and Mediation’ form. Upon receiving this form, TLA will contact both the client and the landscaper for further details and confirm that both are happy for TLA to intervene.

Once TLA has all the details, one of the following three outcomes may transpire.

  • TLA conducts telephone discussions with both parties to seek an early resolution that both are content with
  • If the dispute relates to incomplete or defective work, TLA will conduct an on-site inspection and determine whether the work is indeed defective or incomplete. The TLA will then issue its findings and its recommended outcome.
  • if the issue relates to a financial matter such as unpaid fees or a dispute over extra costs, the TLA will usually recommend the parties seek resolution via a civil claim in court.