>Is Your Tenant Green Fingered

Is your property’s garden an oasis of formal floral perfection or just space where the wheelie bins live?

Your approach to your property’s garden will, to some extent, determine the kind of tenants you want – but there is always the risk they may not keep your patch of England up to the standards you have.

So – should you expect your tenants to take on the job of maintaining the garden or are you better off using professional services to keep the grass trimmed and roses in tip-top shape?

This is very much a question of personal choice. Usually, a tenant is expected to care for the gardens of the property they rent in much the same style as they are expected to care for the building, fixtures and fittings – the gardens should be returned to you in much the same state as when they moved in.

Of course, there is one key difference – gardens tend to keep growing whereas wallpaper generally stays pretty much as it is.

It may well be worth specifying garden care is the responsibility of the tenant. You should be able to expect lawns and hedges to be kept in reasonable order. The same goes for any ornaments or outside furniture you may choose to have left for the tenants – sheds, gazebos, statues and the like. If you left a pristine lawn and you rented to tenants with big dogs or sports-mad children, it may definitely be worth stressing this point – or there could be a big row over what ‘reasonable wear and tear’ is to a lawn.

Of course, you may not be interested in gardens at all and your tenant cannot wait to take on a blank canvas – great! But likewise, if you are renting because you are enforced landlords due to such things as temporary work contracts abroad, you may have invested considerable sums in expensive shrubs and trees. In this case, you may prefer to take on a gardening service to keep things in order. Of course, this is a further cost to you and will make it harder to maximize profit on your investment – it may only be worth it in higher-end properties where you can build it into the monthly rent. On the other hand, it is a valid tax deductible cost!

If you need some help with your buy to let search or current rental property I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line at charlotte@perrenproperty.co.uk or call me on 01306 880 442