Not all tenants ruin your garden.
Take a look at this garden. Beautiful, right? Well this is how it looks a few months AFTER the new tenants moved in.
It’s an example of how a lot of accepted truths within the lettings world aren’t necessarily true, with gardens being a particular concern for many landlords who rent out a property that was once their home. There is a terror that all their hard work and love for their beautiful creation will go to ruin when they move out and tenants move in.
The truth is that there is no real connection between people being interested in gardening and whether or not they are a homeowner. You’ve only got to look at the balconies and gardens of many local authority properties to see that people can be house- and garden-proud at any stage of their property journey.
The photo below is of the garden before the tenants moved in. Now, while it was left that way after ten years of different tenancies, the garden hadn’t really gotten as much love and attention before that as by the people who live in the property now. Not everyone with a mortgage spends all their time pruning rose bushes while wearing gardening slacks.
The new tenants uprooted every single weed and cleared all overhanging nuisances (particularly difficult was the bamboo from the other side of a boundary). They also put down new soil, replaced some dishevelled fencing and bought a new fence post to make it all look proper again.
Many tenants actively seek out properties with gardens because, just like everyone else, they like to be able to get outside. So you don’t necessarily need to worry that your lovely urban – or country – oasis will end up looking like a post-nuclear wasteland when you get it back.
If you want keen gardeners for tenants, you can ask for that. But you could also look at your garden to see how easy to maintain it is, to make it easier for more tenants to keep it looking the way you want. Perhaps make a guide to what plants need watering and when to remove the guesswork, or install an irrigation system if things are a bit more complicated.
And if your garden is a major undertaking, you could incorporate the cost of a periodic visit from a gardener within the rent you charge.
In short, there’s always a way to ensure your garden continues to thrive.