Gardening Time by Heather Hilder on May 12, 2020 “Landlords – How Does Your Garden Grow?” Is it a garden, an oasis of tranquillity, or a jungle? Without a doubt, it’s gardening time… Are you thinking of renting out your home or property with a garden? Your garden is an extension of your property, a welcome retreat for dining, playing, relaxing, and tending! During this period of lockdown, how much we, as a nation, have come to appreciate our green spaces, parks and public gardens, our tubs and shrubs, our balconies and display boxes. Gardening time is known to promote exercise and mental health – a most understated benefit in our green and pleasant land! Tenants’ Gardening Time… What should you expect from your tenants about how they look after your garden? Your garden should be returned to you in the condition you left it – just like the rest of the house, subject to fair wear and tear. With summer on the horizon, how do you imagine your prospective tenants will view the garden you’ve, hopefully, carefully looked after for many years. Will it be their perfect place for pottering and planting? Some tenants, particularly those with pets or children, list garden space as a priority. But for others, a garden could mean unwanted, extra work. So, if you’ve invested heavily in your paths and pavings and spent varying amounts on your variegated plants and vegetables, you may wish to consider contracting a gardener to tenderly and lovingly care for your lawn, borders and outside living space. Garden Amateur or Pro? Talk to your prospective tenants – have they previously had a garden? Are they the new Rich brothers, or will you end up calling in ‘Garden Rescue’ when your tenants leave? They may be green fingered and cannot wait to enjoy the hollyhocks and hebes you so lovingly planted. But if they have neither the time nor interest to care for your hanging baskets, consider having the gardening taken care of for them. Yes, it is another cost – though it is tax deductible. But, consider this – you control how your garden is maintained. Some tenants may be only too happy to pay a higher premium for their rent if they never need to start the lawnmower or trim the edges! Let your tenants enjoy the long summer’s evenings in your garden. There’s nothing better than having friends and family over for a bar-b-q or cocktails on the patio. Garden inventory… And don’t forget to draw up an inventory of the garden at the start of the tenancy. An inventory is an explicit photographic record of every nook, cranny, pot and plant in the garden. Modern digital cameras and mobile phone photography make this easy to do. List fixtures and fittings included in the garden – benches, seating, tables, (for humans and birds), and the condition of the garden. A house is a blank canvas on which to build a home. How it’s designed is a reflection on the personality of those living in it, and this includes the garden. So, have you decided yet whether you’re staying or whether you’re renting out your property? Is your garden crying out for a “refurbishment” to suit your new tenants and their up-and-coming summer needs? The good news is – tomorrow, 13 May, garden centres are beginning to open their doors again. And Sussex has a magnificent display of garden centres right on your door. So review the state of your garden – particularly if you intend to let your property soon! Our dedicated Lettings Team is here to answer your calls on 01273 735237.