Your Property’s Garden: Asset or Liability?

Your Property’s Garden: Asset or Liability?

When renting a property, the look of the place still places a big part in the decision about whether to rent or not. While not as important as when buying a property, many tenants look at the house and its gardens to help them make a choice. But does this make the garden an asset or a liability?

Smart Appearances

A good, well maintained garden can help ‘sell’ the house to a lot of tenants. For example, older couples may enjoy gardening and the gentle activity is good for their health. Couples with kids will view a well maintained lawn area as a place for a spot of football or for the kids to pitch their tents. A decked or patio area can provide a perfect setting for outdoor entertaining or simply somewhere nice to sit and relax on a sunny evening.

A garden can work against you when it goes to two extremes – ultra fussy or poorly kept. A garden that takes serious hours to maintain may put off a lot of tenants unless they too are garden fanatics. Therefore, keeping things relatively simple is ideal. However, a shabby garden that is overgrown and full of weeds will put off even non-gardeners because it looks a mess and makes them think they will need to sort it all out.

Trees & Tree Surgeons

Another important area to take into consideration with your property are any trees on or surrounding it. Trees create a beautiful backdrop to a garden but can also be a hazard. Therefore, getting in a professional tree surgeon to assess the trees on the property before putting it up to rent is a good idea.

For starters, some insurance companies can be funny about trees. Too big or too close to the house and they can invalidate insurance policies. This is due to the danger of them falling into the house in a storm or their roots causing subsidence. Therefore, regular maintenance of the trees is a good idea and this is where an experience tree surgeon will come in.

A visit from such a specialist will help you know if the trees need minor or serious work, how often and if they present any real problems. Plus, it keeps the trees looking smart – out of control trees can block the light from the garden and even from the house. Overgrown trees can even cause issues with neighbours if the tree is blocking their garden or house and lead to disputes.

Whose Job?

Once the tenant is in place, does it then become their job to maintain the garden? This is an area that should be covered in the tenancy agreement to avoid disputes. Some landlords employ a good gardener and part of the cost of this is included in the price of the rent. Some tenants enjoy a spot of gardening and agree to keep everything neat and tidy. However, a landlord can’t hold a tenant responsible if plants die or the lawn doesn’t thrive so if the garden is such a big thing to the landlord, ensure you get a fellow gardening fanatic in as a tenant!

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