As our current competition is for an outdoor pizza oven, we wanted to focus on the outside of a property in our latest article. If you were to win our fabulous prize, would you invite friends over for a pizza party in your garden?
For those of you thinking it’s about time your outside area was made presentable for the upcoming summer months, our tips will come in handy. We’ve separated them into two sections, aimed at landlords and tenants, but we suggest checking out all of them, as they are relevant to every garden!
When preparing a property for the next tenants, the garden is equally important. Having it ready from the moment you wish to begin property viewings will be in your best interests, as potential tenants will see your let looking its best.
- If previous tenants have left any rubbish or debris, be sure to clear it away. Moving it to the side is not enough – either hire a skip, if necessary or arrange for someone to take it away
- Any furniture should either be in a usable condition or scrapped
- Give any wooden features a fresh coat of paint – this includes fences, sheds, benches, etc.
- Be aware of which fences, if any, are your responsibilities, according to the property deeds. To save having issues with your neighbours, its best to fix any broken panels as soon as you notice them, but you won’t want to spend money unnecessarily
- Remove any weeds – we suggest doing this around the sides and front of the property as well, if applicable
- Keep an eye out for Japanese knotweed – this pesky plant can cause serious damage to the building if left unchecked, so it’s best to get it removed by a professional
- Don’t overdo it – feel free to add plants to any flowerbeds, to improve the presentation, but bear in mind that this will create extra maintenance for your tenants, which they may or may not keep up with…
- Leave an area for rubbish and recycle bins to be stored out of the way, with easy access to the road for collection
- Ask your tenants for up to date contact details, so that you can let them know in advance when you wish to visit for an inspection
- Consider including basic gardening equipment (such as a lawnmower and secateurs) in the property inventory, and have a clause in the tenancy agreement requesting the tenant does regular upkeep. Just be sure to make it clear that such clauses exist, before they sign the agreement
For tenants, it is important to keep on top of garden maintenance for when your landlord visits to inspect the property. It doesn’t need to be worthy of 1st prize at an RHS flower show – just make sure that, at the least, it is neat and tidy. Also, for those who want it to look its best when having friends and family over, these tips will help.
- As you should with the inside of the property, be sure to take photos of the garden when you first move in. This can help to settle any later disputes over its condition
- Regularly check all cracks and flowerbeds for weeds. Pulling up one or two every now and again is a lot easier than spending an entire afternoon eradicating a full-on invasion – trust us, your back will thank you!
- Any furniture that came with the property should be looked after, otherwise expect your landlord to request that you replace anything that’s broken, or risk the costs coming out of your deposit
- If you wish to make any permanent changes to the garden, be sure to get written permission from your landlord first! Although it should feel like your own home, the property does belong to them
- Be sure to have up to date contact details for your landlord, so that you can get in touch about any maintenance issues that need addressing in between their inspections
- A water butt is a great addition to a garden. It will save on water usage for watering plants, by collecting rain and storing it for whenever you need
Once you have your garden looking neat and tidy, you can think about those finishing touches, to make it ready for a party!
- Candles make a nice touch, but we suggest using battery powered ones. These can be left unattended, without being a fire risk, and you won’t have the bother of them blowing out and needing to be relighted
- For extra lighting during the evening, hang a string of lights along your fence panels, for a peaceful ambience. If you don’t have easy access to a plug socket, then solar powered lights will be a good option
- Be prepared for the weather to turn cooler by having blankets at the ready. We also think microwavable wheat bags are a lovely touch – like hot water bottles, they are heated up but do not come with the risk of scalding
- When it comes to food preparations, keep it light and easy to nibble at! Slices of pitta bread, pots of olives and hummus dips will go down a treat. Have a cooler set up nearby, to keep your refreshments chilled. And, if you happen to win our summer competition, you can keep your guests well-fed throughout the party, with freshly baked slices of pizza!
We hope you enjoy your time in the garden and that our tips have been helpful!