As a landlord, it can be easy to focus all your attention on making the interior of your buy-to-let property as attractive as possible. If your rental property has a garden, however, that deserves a little TLC too. After all, you can increase demand for your property by offering a well maintained garden to tenants.

Where kitchens used to be a property’s selling point, lockdown has changed the priorities of homeowners and renters everywhere. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the outdoors and green spaces has played an important role in improving our physical and mental health. With that in mind, over half of UK renters now value access to outdoor space above anything else.

However, we understand that not every landlord is a budding gardener. That’s why we’re bringing you four easy garden ideas for rental properties that will help you spruce up your outdoor space.

Who is responsible for the garden in rented property?

Firstly, let’s talk about responsibilities. It’s not always easy to know who is responsible for what when it comes to outdoor space. But throughout the tenancy, tenants are expected to not let the garden get overgrown and to keep it reasonably tidy and litter-free. When tenants hand back the keys at the end of the tenancy, the garden should be in a similar condition to the way you left it for them.

As the landlord,  you are responsible for maintaining any areas of the garden that would be unreasonable for tenants to take care of, such as trees and fences/boundaries. Anything else will need to be agreed upon from the outset to avoid disputes later down the line, particularly gardening work that requires expertise.

Rental garden ideas

If you want to level up a rented garden, try these simple and cost-effective rental garden ideas.

Invest in garden furniture

Consider setting up a seating area with a few key pieces of garden furniture for tenants to enjoy the weather on a sunny day. This is a simple, yet effective way to make your outdoor space more appealing to potential tenants.

When it comes to choosing garden furniture, it’s best to keep it simple and choose pieces in neutral colours. Brightly coloured deck chairs may not be to everyone’s taste! Also, it’s wise to invest in furniture that is made to last and can withstand the elements. After all, we all know how unpredictable the UK weather can be and you don’t want to have to replace these items anytime soon.

Invest in a freestanding fire pit

Fire pits are always a crowd pleaser and give a social element to your outdoor space. Of course, you may be worried about potential damage to your garden or property. But you don’t have to!

Consider getting a fire pit that is elevated from the ground. That way, your tenants can make the most of the space all year round by keeping warm on cold evenings. As they are off the ground, elevated fire pits are less likely to come into contact with combustible materials that could potentially start a fire. Just make sure they are set atop a fire-resistant surface such as concrete.  That way, you won’t have to worry about damage to the garden if embers fly.

Get a shed

Space can be hard to come by for many renters, especially families. Simply having a shed at the end of the garden to store extra items can be a good selling point for prospective tenants. Just think about how much tenants who value space will appreciate a space to store bicycles, garden furniture, and much more.

It could be the difference between securing a follow-on tenancy without void periods and your tenant deciding to find a different property that offers more storage space. Not to mention, a small shed at the end of the garden shouldn’t be too expensive and can be quite easy to build yourself, so no need to worry about installation costs.

Plant shrubs

Our final garden idea for rental properties? Plant shrubs! Some tenants dream of having their own vegetable garden or flower beds. Understandably, you may be tempted to say no and for good reason. Depending on how ambitious your tenant’s plans are, they could end up in a garden dispute with neighbours. But luckily, there are plenty of low maintenance plants for rental properties available.

If your tenant has green thumbs, planting shrubs could be the answer! Shrubs are the perfect low maintenance plant for rental properties, as they require very little looking after and look good all year round.

Remember, shrubs don’t have to be boring. There are plenty of flowerings shrubs available that will add a splash of colour to your garden and make your property stand out – whether it’s a Camellia sinensis, a Japanese quince, a  Deutzia, or an Abelia Grandiflora. Instagram-worthy pinks and vibrant yellows, provide much needed relief and inspiration during a drab winter. Not to mention, it will give a bit of dimension and detail to your garden!

Voilà! With these simple garden ideas for rental properties, you should be able to keep yourself and your tenant happy.

Whilst you’re in the process of improving your garden, have you considered getting landlord insurance? We at CIA can help you find an affordable policy that protects your property and suits your wallet. Get in touch to find out how we can help today!

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