• Melanie Littlemore

Tips for a 'tenant friendly' garden

Having a welcoming garden in your property not only gives great curb appeal, but can be a feature that attracts good quality prospective tenants. However, it's worth considering that some tenants don't have the greenest of thumbs, but can be excellent occupants for your property for other reasons.

Ideally, gardens and green space at your rental property should be eye-catching and inviting, but also easy and cost effective to maintain. However, if tenants don't have the skills and experience required to maintain a demanding garden or extensive property, they may consider it to be a drawback.

This article outlines some tips to consider in your current property, or what to look for in gardens of potential investment purchases, to ensure your garden is appealing and tenant friendly.

Low maintenance

An easy to manage garden is much more likely to be maintained. Try to pick low-maintenance plants that will thrive in the climate where your property is situated. Hardy tropical plants are ideal in warmer areas such as Queensland and climates such as Melbourne are more suited to leafy trees or easy-flowering plants for the cooler weather. If you are making some updates or haven't begun to plant the garden at your property yet, consider areas where plants and trees generally don't grow very well, or even pockets within the land where lawns may struggle, such as in very shady or very open sunny areas depending on the lawn variety.

Pick hardy plants

A tenant-friendly garden is one with tough plants. Varieties such as magnolias, lilly pilly, bottle brush, xanadu, myrtle and star jasmine. If you're unsure, speak to someone at your local nursery or Bunnings who can help give you advice for which hardy plants would be best for your location and garden orientation.

Garden bed edging

Trimming edges of the lawn can be a tough task if you're not handy with a whipper snipper. Lining garden beds with bricks, pavers or PVC edging material looks neat and tidy and makes whipper snipping much easier, meaning your garden will be easy to keep maintained.

Mulch to prevent weeds

Empty spaces are a magnet for weeds to grow easily. Add a thick layer of mulch to prevent weeds from taking over in your garden beds and pots. With many mulching options, there are cost effective solutions to make your gardens look tidy and presentable. Consider scheduling bi-annual or annual mulching (depending on lifespan of the type of mulch you choose) in line with other maintenance tasks around your property to keep the gardens looking fresh and cared for.

Water conservation

This may be particularly important if your property includes water consumption, as you will be the one paying for the water required to keep your garden alive. Or from the tenants perspective, if they are paying for water at your property and the garden is going to require considerable watering, this could mean an additional budgeting expense. Choosing plants that only need minimal watering is a good option, especially in drought-prone areas. Again, your local nursery can provide you with valuable information if you discuss details about your property's soil type and location to make sure your garden isn't just tenant friendly but water-wise too.

An attractive, healthy garden in your rental property is a great way to improve the appeal of your property. If you're looking to purchase an investment, take some time to consider the gardens already in place, or if you are thinking of adding one at your property in between tenancies, or making some improvements, follow the above tips for a great outcome for all.

Remember, this article does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your professional financial and legal advisors before making any decisions for yourself.

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