Whether we’re talking about a buy-to-let property you’d like to fill over the summer months, or your personal family home, there are many ways you can spruce up the exterior of your properties – ready for the warmer season! Along with ensuring that your gardens are looking lovely, there are other things to consider when getting your property summer-ready.

Gardens can be one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the appearance of your property and if you’re preparing to host many BBQ’s in your back garden this year, or attracting new tenants to your property, then you may want to consider these aspects:

Clean exteriors

Take advantage of the (hopefully) warmer and dryer weather by checking the state of the property’s exterior. Could the external walls do with a fresh lick of paint or if the property has been rendered, are they crack-free?

Basic TLC

Now onto your garden. firstly, it’s important to check the state of any borders. No one likes a cracked wall, broken (or non-existent) gate or mouldy fence panel. Clear up any debris and weeds, remove any dead or dying trees and plants and literally blow away the cobwebs!

Ensuring these areas are in good condition and that they are free of any overgrown shrubbery or weeds can give the garden an instantly fresher look for you or your tenants.

Think clean lines, distinct areas and low maintenance borders. Nothing looks better than a well-kept garden and by establishing paths, borders and specific areas, you can even make small gardens look big and inviting.

Added extras

Everyone loves a BBQ area, some cute garden furniture and simple bike storage. Convert your space into a place where others would love to hang out. If this is for your own home, these little details can really make a garden that you are proud to show off this summer!

If you’re a landlord debating whether this is worth it or not – we find that by including added extras, it can encourage your tenants to care for the garden as if it were their own. We’ve even had tenants requesting an outside hose so they can water the gardens themselves or wash their cars in the summer.

Perhaps you’re renting a family home where a children’s slide or sun canopy would be very appealing, or maybe you’re a landlord of an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) that will house young professionals? Either way, we definitely feel its something to consider!

These next two points appeal many to landlords of buy-to-let properties:

Reduce maintenance required

Even though a lawn may look aesthetically pleasing, it either costs you as the landlord more to maintain, especially if you provide a gardener, or it requires constant upkeep from your tenants. An attractive and low maintenance alternative to this can be hard paving options.

This is also why planting should be kept to a minimum. While a tenant might appreciate blooming flower beds at first, you can never predict whether they will be the green-fingered type. Perhaps think about planting year-round decorative flowers and trees and maybe fill beds with shingle as opposed to soil.

Make your expectations clear

When welcoming a new tenant to a buy-to-let property, landlords should try and detail any garden maintenance that is required and whether there is scope for tenants to add their own personal touch. If there is a lawn, it will need to be mowed; if there is a patio, it may need to be washed; if furniture is supplied, it must be looked after; if the tenant wants to pave an area for a paddling pool, is that allowed.

Be sure to clear up any confusion over who has responsibility for certain aspects of garden and furniture maintenance and what tenants can and can’t do.

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Even the simplest of gardens can look great with a fine drop of creativity and efficient use of space and decorative ornaments can entice all kinds of tenants and ensure that they feel at home.