It’s the Chelsea Flower Show this week, and although this year – for obvious (coronavirus) reasons the event is actually a virtual one, it’s still a feast for the eyes and we encourage everyone to take a look online to see the beautiful and innovative displays (check out the link here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/virtual-chelsea).
All this talk of gardens and plants and beautiful things got us thinking at Looksy about how to manage garden maintenance in a rental property. There are a number of things to consider when you delve deep down into the subject, and we’ve put together just a few ideas for you here.
The key, as with any kind of tenant/landlord interaction, is understanding. A neglected garden is going to make any property look bad, and the kerb appeal will quickly disappear, but having some rules in place and knowing exactly what the tenant can and can’t do is crucial.
Before your tenants move in, you should assess the garden of your rental property and think about ways to make it more low maintenance. If it’s a small garden, this can mean installing a patio (and removing some of the lawn to do it), replacing grass with Astroturf, and putting up fences instead of hedges. This kind of garden will take very little effort to keep looking nice, and the tenant can add their own take using planting boxes and urns if they want to. Otherwise it’s a quick mow and a sweep up and it will look as good as ever.
Are They Gardeners?
If the garden of the rental property is one that is going to need a lot of looking after, and you don’t want to change it or don’t want to spend money making it easier to deal with, you’ll need to speak to the potential tenants before they sign anything. Make sure they are aware of what you need them to do with the garden and how you expect it to look – keen gardeners will be happy to get involved, and those who might not want to carry out these tasks can walk away before they sign up to something they don’t think will fit with their lifestyle.
Hire A Gardener
Something that some landlords are happy to do is hire a gardener. The price can be included in the rent, and it means that the outside spaces will always look attractive and the tenant won’t have to worry about doing any of the work if they don’t want to. Again, this is something that you should make the tenant aware of before they agree to the rent; most will be pleased to find there is an added benefit, even if it means they are paying out more each month.
Use The Tenancy Agreement
If you are worried that your property might start to look neglected because the tenant isn’t doing any work in the garden, and to stop any confusion about who is responsible for what, use your tenancy agreement.
If the ‘rules’ are written out in your tenancy agreement, there can be no arguments, and it makes life a lot easier for everyone involved. This is why having a tenancy agreement is so important, not just for garden maintenance but for every aspect of the tenancy.
Get An Inventory Done
Having a good, thorough inventory carried out at the beginning of the tenancy, and ensuring there is a professional check-in and check-out service, means that the exact condition of the exterior of the house will be recorded. If there are any disputes, the inventory is one of – perhaps the most – important documents you’ll have. Using the report, you’ll be able to show what the garden looked like before anyone moved in, and what it looked like at the end of the tenancy.
If the tenant has left it in a bad state of repair and their tenancy agreement states that they must maintain the garden, the proof is right there in the inventory report.
Get in touch today to book your inventory and give yourself complete peace of mind in the process.