The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we think about our homes, and for modern renters, garden space has never been more important. According to a recent report, there has been a 50% increase in demand for properties with gardens attached, amongst families, young couples, professionals, and even students. As a landlord, sprucing up outdoor spaces could make your rental property more attractive (and increase your yield) in today’s market.
Whether you’re showing potential tenants round in person or over a FaceTime call, it makes sense to keep your outdoor spaces clean and tidy. That means raking up leaves, sweeping paths, cutting the grass, and topping up gravelled areas. If an estate agent is photographing your property, it’s also wise to give your garden fence a lick of paint (choose grey or brown), remove garden furniture that’s looking worse for wear, and give your decking a good clean.
If you’ve got flower beds in your garden, remove old, tired and dead plants, and replace them with shrubs and bushes that will look good year-round. Hardy, easy-to-maintain plants will not only benefit your tenants, but they’ll stand the test of time and be there when you next put your rental property on the market. If you want to inject colour into your garden, add a couple of plant pots - you could even take these with you before new tenants move in.
Whether you’re letting a one-bedroom property or an HMO, renters are increasingly looking at gardens and outdoor spaces as an extension of the home. Creating a new space doesn’t have to cost thousands of pounds. Sure, you could extend your kitchen and add another bedroom upstairs if your budget allows, but for a cheaper alternative, a table and chairs on gravel is a great way to create an outdoor eating area. Add candles and a parasol, and tenants will be able to see the potential of your outdoor spaces before they come to view it.
Once you’re happy with your garden, the next step is to add a few finishing touches to give your outdoor space that “wow” factor. Lighting is one of the best ways to do this - you can pick up some cheap solar-powered lights from discount stores, and attach them to your hedge. They’ll look great on an evening and help your property photos stand out on sites like Rightmove. Mirrors can also be used to make your garden appear bigger than it is, whilst bird feeders and bee houses are ideal for attracting wildlife and creating a garden sanctuary.
Small gardens can be made to feel cramped and overlooked with boundary walls, hedges, and fences. Because of this, you should deflect attention away from them with plants and careful placement of garden furniture. From growing climbers up the walls to planting trees to make a boxy garden feel more homely and natural, there are lots of things that you can do that don’t break the bank but will ultimately have a big impact on your tenants’ enjoyment.
Updating your garden doesn’t have to cost the earth, but it can transform your property and perhaps even increase its monthly rental value. Once you’ve found a tenant to enjoy your new outdoor space, find out more about our tenant bills management service for landlords.