Best gardens for rental properties
Keep it simple and easy to maintain
There’s no doubt that having some outside space, whether it’s a balcony, roof terrace or garden is a billy-bonus, but it might put tenants off if it’s going to be difficult to maintain.
It can also be off-putting if it’s just a bare, dull, empty space – especially in winter – or if it doesn’t get much sun.
Brighten up balconies and roof terraces with one or two brightly coloured, sleek white or shiny metal pots, but make sure the space doesn’t feel cluttered. If there’s enough room, add a couple of outdoor chairs and maybe even a cheap barbecue and the area could become a real selling point.
Dark spaces can be easily brightened up and made to feel larger by cutting back any overhanging vegetation, removing large or overgrown bushes and painting brick or concrete walls white.
Gardens can quickly become overgrown and shabby and grass can be difficult to keep looking nice, but many tenants, especially families, really appreciate a lawn so don’t be tempted to dig it up and tile over it or replace grass with shingle or stones. Artificial (plastic) grass, is the solution – it stays looking good year round, it’s easy to maintain and parents with young children love it. Plus, you don’t need any storage space for a mower!
Decking is a cheap solution for patios and looks good when it’s first laid but it can be lethal when wet and will quickly get covered in moss. Go for the anti-slip boards to reduce the risk of tenants having a nasty accident – they’re more expensive than the cheapest on the market, but you get what you pay for. Tiles are easier to clean and keep moss-free, but make sure they are anti-slip, otherwise your patio will turn into an ice-rink when it rains. They must also be frost-resistant and state that they’re suitable for outdoors.
Unless you’re prepared to hire a gardener to manage the garden while it’s let, make sure your tenancy agreement includes a clause requiring the tenant to maintain the garden. You should also make sure that any outside space is included in the inventory and check-in report, just in case your tenants decide to dig up the lawn and replace it with a vegetable patch!