If you have a buy-to-let property, you’ll not only want to make it attractive and appealing to potential tenants, but minimise the time and effort needed to keep it that way! Tenants often don’t want the hassle of maintaining flower beds and borders and as a landlord, you’ll want to keep your responsibilities to a minimum too. We’ve put together some top tips for keeping your rental property garden low maintenance, yet still attractive.
Using weed matting in your borders and beds will drastically cut down on weeding. It can be found at most DIY stores and is very reasonably priced. Homebase does a 15m x 2m roll for £25.
Lose the grass
Using gravel is another very low maintenance option, which you can get in a myriad of colours, or bark chippings for a more natural feel. Also great if you want to get rid of your lawn completely and go for the ‘gravel with pots’ garden.
The grass is greener
If going without a lawn just doesn’t cut it for you, ‘Sir Walter’ buffalo turf (stenotaphrum secundatum) is a great choice as it requires minimal maintenance and handles sun, shade, drought and high traffic.
Paving sections of a garden can be an investment upfront but it can pay dividends for both attracting tenants and the upkeep of high traffic areas over time. Gone are the days where the only choice was the plain grey rectangular slab. Now there are carpet stones (cobbles attached to webbing making them much quicker to lay) slate, limestone and even granite to choose from.
Potted plants – the pros and cons
The use of some strategically placed pots will soften the look of your garden and add a splash of colour, particularly if you’ve gone down the gravel and paving route. Do remember though, plants in pots will need watering and feeding – something that your tenant may not be particularly committed to maintaining.
Choose your plants carefully
When it comes to picking out plants, choose slow growing hardy varieties. Evergreens will provide colour all year round and also mean less raking up of leaves in the autumn. By planting perennials and shrubs close together and mulching, you can reduce the need for watering and supress weed growth.
Agree the gardening rules upfront
Who is responsible for what aspects of maintaining the garden should be agreed at the start of the tenancy and form part of the agreement. As a landlord you would typically be expected to tackle any major projects such as cutting back of trees and sizeable shrubs. Your tenant would usually tend to the basic maintaining of the garden such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves and keeping borders clear of weeds.
With a few carefully chosen plants and a little planning and effort, you will end up with a beautiful, garden that still adds appeal to your buy to let, but will require minimal maintenance from both tenant and landlord.
If you have any further questions abut property maintenance responsibilities, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your local Northwood office
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